The truck-buying process is always stressful, and the entire experience is made even more tumultuous when you’re forced to pursue a used ride. There’s a fair share of risk that accompanies this particular route, especially when you consider the vehicle has already been on the road for several years.
Fortunately, there’s a logical target for those seeking a pre-owned pickup. Opting for a used Ford F-150 is one of the best decisions you could possibly make when you consider the nameplate’s reliability and durability. The vehicle has consistently been lauded for its power, technology, and safety, meaning you won’t be compromising driving quality by opting for a used ride.
Of course, you don’t necessarily need to take our word for it… rather, you can refer to those who are fanatics when it comes to the nameplate. Take a look at their advice below, and you’ll be fully prepared when it’s time to start searching for a used Ford F-150…
When customers are pursuing a used vehicle, whether it be a Ford F-150 or some other pickup truck, they should always expect there to be a high mileage total on the odometer. However, they should also expect a relatively low price tag due to the age. One individual recently visited Reddit to ask for opinions regarding a used F-150 that was selling for close to $20,000 despite having compiled more than 100,000 miles. Predictably, those who responded (including user u/Rkupcake) weren’t too thrilled with this opportunity:
“If you’re spending upwards of 20k on a truck with 100k miles you’re getting ripped off. Most trucks will last a while, but you’re looking at an average of 200k ish if it’s well taken care of. At that rate of $ mile, it’s more effective to go new, which also allows you to ensure its well taken care of, which can push its lifespan closer to 300k miles, more if you’re lucky. Also, the new generation gets much better mileage, so you’ll save money on gas in the long run. That said, if you can’t afford a new truck, get a used.”
On the flip side, user u/skinny8446 noted that Ford F-150s tend to last for hundreds of thousands of miles, so it’s not necessarily a death sentence if the vehicle is approaching 90,000 miles or above. Of course, as a result of this reliability, it’s important to remember that the truck is pricier than some of its rivals. Therefore, you should be anticipating that you’ll have to spend a pretty regardless of whether you pursue a new or used variation of the vehicle:
“Sounds like you’re potentially buying more vehicle than you can afford in either scenario. The lease definitely puts you into a perpetual payment path (PPP). The used truck might, but realistically 150k miles is far from a death sentence on a well cared for truck. I have 100+ trucks in my fleet that are run 180k miles or more and they’re treated like you can imagine a fleet vehicle is treated. I would think you could easily get another 2-3 years out of the truck before it really starts to embarrass you much.
One problem I have with you taking on the PPP is that you stated your wife’s vehicle was recently paid off so now you can afford a newer vehicle. That’s a great system to use so that there’s at least one newer vehicle in your garage and only one payment. But if you now go to the PPP on your vehicle, what happens in a few years when your wife’s car is getting to the point it needs replaced? That puts you into a two-payment model.
I would recommend buying the used truck and planning to keep it a long time or buy a vehicle that fits your budget better. You can get into a car for the same price that will last you 10 years.”
Are you eyeing an older F-150 that includes the renowned Ecoboost engine? In that case, you’ll surely want to do your own inspection before you commit to a purchase. While these engines aren’t necessarily unreliable, user u/mrpew17 explains that it’s always a good idea to take a look at a used pickup’s mechanics before committing to a purchase:
“As with any used car check for leaks on all parts. Rear end trans engine etc. Look for rust. Places where bodywork could have bee done. But most importantly make sure the engine is dead cold when you first look at it. When you drive it beat on it a little and watch the exhaust for smoke. Turbo engines tend to use oil more than others. And just normal shit like any other car. And make sure all fluids are in good condition as well.”
Finally, Stephen Elmer of AutoGuide.com provides some notable tips for those prospective used F-150 customers who are looking to secure the best possible bang for their buck:
“Ford has long been known for its luxury trucks and special editions, making the King Ranch or Harley Davidson Edition particularly good choices because there is nothing truly competitive to them from that same era. These trucks pack many of the amenities still available today, like a backup camera, leather seats, and rear-seat entertainment. However, the XL and XLT models will be the most common and are likely to be the cheapest used F-150s you can find.
As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid the 2004 and 2005 F-150, and focus on finding a 2006 through 2008. These later model trucks seem to have a lot fewer complaints and issues than the early trucks did.”
There you have it. This is certainly a whole lot to keep in mind, but it’s ultimately all common sense. At the end of the day, you’re looking to purchase an affordable used vehicle that’s reliable and won’t cost you tons of money in repairs. You’ve already made the right choice by targeting a used Ford F-150. Keep the above tips in mind, and we’re confident you’ll be happy with your decision.