Top 5 tips for buying a used truck or trailer

Specific requirements

Reading time: 3 minutes

Buying a used truck or trailer is an attractive solution for many businesses as it reduces the investment for instant availability. However, just like buying a new truck or trailer, it requires a bit of time searching.

Before investing, there are different elements to consider and check to find the vehicle that best suits your needs. Though this task may seem overwhelming, here are some basic steps to follow to make the optimal purchase. 

1. List your specific requirements

A first step when you consider buying a used truck or trailer is to make sure that you know which specific features and price range to look for when searching for a vehicle.

Therefore, we recommend you to:

  • Make a list of your requirements and narrow down your search to a few potential options
  • Decide the budget or price range you feel comfortable with
  • Make a list of all the dealers located in your area

By following this simple checklist, you can better prepare yourself to find the right vehicle and make a smarter investment.



2. Select your trustworthy vendor

The next stage in the process is to find the best dealer to provide you expert assistance and a vehicle that will help your business succeed. We recommend you communicate your requirements to some and find out how easily accessible used trailer stock is at each dealer.

Then, to choose your dealer, look at both favorable and bad reviews, as well as ratings. Other individuals can also be great resources of information. In addition, you can follow dealers on social media to keep track of their latest offers and deals.



3. Check the vehicle’s history

Once you've found the second-hand vehicle you want to purchase, you shall investigate and assess the truck’s history and current condition.

Examine the vehicle's overall condition, including the model year, how long it's been in service, and what it was used for previously. Inquire about maintenance and oil change records, as well as accident and service history and any recent modifications. Clarifying these details early on can help you save time and money in the long run.

In general, there is no industry-wide service history standard. However, properly maintained trailers should have some record that the dealer or previous owner can give.

Vehicle history

4. Review the structural components

Properly examining the unit from a mechanical standpoint is quite critical. The truck's mileage can be a strong predictor of the vehicle's suitability when combined with other criteria such as your personal future use. Overall, you should pay attention to the following components:

  • Tires
  • Wheel ends (oil/grease, properly lubed)
  • Brakes and suspension (lining, pads, ABS)
  • Flooring
  • Trailer electrical system (lights)


5. Arrange your financial and insurance plan

Once you've decided to proceed with the purchase, you shall take into account some additional financial elements to be aware of your entire investment. Among them, the parts that might need to be replaced. Figure out the proper suppliers and estimate the prices to have a comprehensive view of your future costs. If the used vehicle you want to purchase is a limited edition one, we highly recommend you locate at least two parts suppliers.

Moreover, don’t forget that not all lenders employ the same criteria when it comes to approving financing plans, and not all types of used trucks and trailers are approved by all lenders. The same applies for insurance prices, as you must consider the criteria and coverages available.


Find your used truck or trailer with TIP

TIP is a leading equipment service provider, across Europe and Canada. With more than 50 years of experience, we are experts in providing all the services that a customer will require during the life cycle of a trailer. Our TIP Sales teams offer used trailers, trucks and swap bodies from a large variety of brands (Schmitz, Krone, Kogel, Lamberet, Sac, Volvo, Daf, Sor, Narko).


All units are in most cases sold as-is but maintenance and repair services can be provided in our own 115 workshops throughout Europe and Canada. You can always visit to check available second-hand trucks and trailers or contact one of our sales managers to discuss your specific requirements and budget.