Afbeelding kooptips

Important tips for a safe truck purchase

While buying a truck, it is important to be well informed before making a purchase. The chassis number, also known as the vehicle identification number, is just the beginning. In this blog, you’ll read about the most important things to check before buying a truck and what pitfalls to avoid.

Here’s what to look for when buying a truck

1. Check the chassis number
The most important aspect to look out for when buying a vehicle is the chassis number, also known as the vehicle identification number. Every truck has a unique chassis number which belongs to the truck’s papers. If this is not correct, something is wrong. It is therefore important that this number is clearly legible. If you do buy a truck without a chassis number, chances are you will not get a registration number in certain countries.

2. Check import rules
When importing a vehicle, it is always important to see if the vehicle can be registered in the new home country. In addition, you can also check whether you have to pay certain import duties. In general, a truck with a Dutch or German license plate can be imported without any problems. Despite this, it is still good to check with the registration office if the vehicle can be registered in the buyer’s country. If a vehicle has had an official license plate in Europe, then another European country is required to allow the vehicle into its country. In practice, this just does not always happen.

3. Check the condition of the vehicle
When buying a vehicle, it is also important to compare the condition of the truck with its mileage. For example, if the odometer reads 400,000, but the seats and steering wheel are worn. Then the odometer reading is most likely incorrect. You can also pay attention to maintenance stickers in the truck in this regard. These stickers often indicate how many kilometres were serviced. 60% of vehicles are sold online via photos and in this case, these kinds of things do not stand out.

4. Check the fluids
It is also essential to check the oil and coolant levels. If one or both levels are low, this indicates potential problems.

5. Take a test drive
It is also wise to take a test drive before buying the vehicle. Pay attention to the sound of the engine, yellow lights coming on, how the vehicle shifts, etc. Trucks for sale sometimes stand idle for up to 4 years. This can cause the battery to fail or the brakes to jam. So check this out by taking a test drive.

Top 4 criminal actions by sellers

– Fake ads for popular trucks, where the ‘seller’ asks for a deposit and then disappears. Look out for popular models combined with a low price.
– Trucks that exist but are not owned by the seller. At best, the truck is bought immediately after agreement, but usually the seller asks for a deposit and then disappears after receiving it.
– Reversing mileage. This is difficult to find out, but by paying attention to the condition of the vehicle and the maintenance sticker, it is still possible to find out.
– Sellers presenting trucks more beautiful than they are. Afterwards, the trucks still turn out to have many hidden defects. Also, sellers often leave broken or damaged parts out of view of the photo.

Inspection of vehicles

So, to reduce the risks of buying a truck, it is important to conduct a thorough quality inspection at the vehicle’s location. Only in this way will you get a clear picture of the actual condition of the vehicle. Traveling to the seller’s location yourself is just not always possible. You can also outsource this inspection to Kick van der Zwaag (for €485 euros excluding VAT). He has more than 40 years of experience in carrying out thorough truck inspections.