Tips for finding a truck for less than $2,000 include checking public auctions, private sellers and independent used car lots; having a professional mechanic check the truck's condition; and negotiating the price. Buyers should also manage their expectations about the overall condition and appearance of the truck.
A buyer can obtain a vehicle history report to gain information on the truck's condition. As of 2015, vehicle reports can cost anywhere from $30 to $60 and may depend on the number of reports ordered. A buyer can get a free history report by checking the eBay classifieds site.
A professional mechanic can inform a buyer of how much extra it likely costs for any repairs the truck needs. In addition to hiring a local mechanic, a buyer can also find a mechanic through a vehicle inspection service.
Warning signs a truck may not be worth buying include suspiciously low mileage, environmental damage and a salvage title. Oddly low mileage may mean that a previous owner rolled back the odometer or barely drove the truck. It's best to assume a truck is driven roughly 15,000 miles a year. Water and flood damage are the two most important signs of damage to check for in a truck. Such damage can leave the truck with electrical problems. A truck with a salvage title means an insurance company declared it a complete loss, and the truck has undergone repair.