The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular midsize trucks on the road today. And it’s no surprise because Toyota has been making small trucks for more than 40 years. What a history!
If you long for a Tacoma but are put off by the price of a new model, this article will show you why buying used makes great financial sense, and what to look for if you go down that road so you can make this decision fully prepared.
Why You Should Consider Buying A Used Car
Everyone likes to save money, and this is the biggest reason to consider buying a used car versus buying new. Today’s cars are well-built and last much longer than their predecessors back in the 60s and 70s. With advances in technology comes more knowledge.
It’s not unheard of for a vehicle to reach 200,000 miles if it’s properly maintained. So buying used is a great way to get a valuable, reliable machine for much less than the price of new.
Here are a few other things to consider when purchasing a used Toyota Tacoma.
Buying Used Minimizes Depreciation
According to some experts, the average new car depreciates about 20 percent as soon as you drive it off the lot. And if that weren’t bad enough, most cars lose another 10 percent of their value in the first year of ownership. That’s 30 percent of their value lost in only one year!
Let’s say you buy a car that costs $30,000. In just a year, you’ve lost $9,000 in value. Buying a car that’s only a year old allows you to avoid that value drop. And while getting a used car that’s only a year old is difficult, it’s easier if you go for a car that’s two to three years old.
Also worth considering is the fact that, in many cases, you can drive that used car without much more loss in equity. Some experts, such as Phillip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmonds.com say that depreciation evens out at about two years in, and then increases about year five.
And with cars being more durable today than ever, it’s far more economical to buy a car that’s two or three years old and then drive it until the wheels fall off.
Buying Used Reduces Insurance Rates
When you buy a new car, a large portion of the cost that you must factor in is insurance. If your vehicle is financed, you have to carry full coverage on it which is quite expensive. However, with a used car, it’s not uncommon to drop some elements of your insurance like theft and collision making the rate much cheaper. A good rule of thumb to follow is that the more expensive the car the more expensive your insurance.
Take Advantage of CPO Programs
Certified Pre Owned is a program in which many dealers participate. The CPO guarantees that your used car is in ‘like new’ condition. Cars qualifying for the CPO program are typically low mileage, well maintained, and are in excellent shape.
In many cases, you won’t be able to tell a Certified Pre Owned vehicle from a showroom new one. See if your local dealership offers this program by heading to their website.
Access To The Vehicle History
The ability to check a vehicle’s history through avenues like Carfax and AutoCheck gives the buyer more peace of mind. It’s better today buying a used car when you know if there are any issues in its past like collisions, floods, and major repairs. You can even find out how many owners your vehicle has previously had.
What To Consider When Buying A Used Toyota Tacoma
The Toyota Tacoma comes in a variety of body styles and with many options packages. This large selection of features and styles makes finding the perfect used one for your needs and tastes easy. Whether you need something fuel-efficient or something with V6 power and ready for off-roading, there’s a Toyota Tacoma out there waiting for you.
So here’s what to watch out for when buying used:
During your test drive, make sure the electronics work properly. Check the power windows, locks, steering controls, climate controls, and the stereo. If the vehicle comes with Bluetooth, check that too.
Also, look at the LED display and see if there are any dead pixels. Play with the volume knob and make sure the volume responds as it should. You don’t want to find out this later.
Be sure to listen carefully for odd noises like whining or thudding, which may show a problem with the rear differential. You can test for a worn-out rear differential by driving in a tight circle and listening for anything out of the ordinary. Any odd noises coming from underneath could indicate a problem, and if you hear something, have the vehicle checked by a technician before you purchase it.
Check the Transmission
If you’re looking at a truck with an automatic transmission, watch for symptoms of slipping or hard shifting during regular use. Sometimes, all the truck needs is transmission fluid, while other times, the transmission is damaged.
While transmission problems are rare and appear more so in the earlier models of this generation, it’s still something to watch out for.
Examine the Paint
It’s well-documented in the Toyota community that particular trucks have paint quality issues, such as bubbling. While it’s not a widespread problem, and it’s easily fixed with a new paint job, it’s still something to watch for when buying used.
Watch For Vibration At Low Speed
In addition to paint problems, some Tacoma models suffer from vibrations at low speed, roughly 15-25 MPH. The weird aspect of this is that you can test drive identical models, and one will have the issue while the other one will not. To check for this, drive at the above-listed speeds to see if it vibrates.
After Market Accessories
Say you want a newer model Tacoma with all of the fancy options, but don’t want to spend the money. You don’t have to pass on the perfect truck because you can easily add a lot of these features later after the purchase.
For example, remote starters are standard on most new trucks, but if you get an older model without one for a reasonable price, adding a remote starter is easy and instantly increases the value of the vehicle. Many sites offer remote start kits so you can install it yourself.
A new vehicle is a considerable investment, and while buying new is a thrill, you can see how it’s often better to buy used in many cases. If you’re in the market for a Toyota Tacoma, we hope this article showed you that you can get a great truck with plenty of life left and what to look out for when searching.