Best Trucks to Buy Used in Bellevue, WA

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Best Trucks to Buy Used in Bellevue, WA

From carrying a camper to Lake Wenatchee State Park for the weekend or towing a toy trailer to Mount Vernon's Walker Valley ORV, to hauling loads to a job site in Woodinville or tailgating at Lumen Field before a Seahawks game, the versatility of a pickup truck is undeniable. Whether you need a weekday workhorse or a family-friendly hauler, there are plenty of great options for reliable used trucks. You just need to know what to look for.

Making an informed decision requires doing a little research. We've designed this guide as a convenient starting place, tackling some of the initial research for you and compiling it into an easy-to-understand format. So, let's take a look at what you need to know to find the best trucks to buy used.

What to Consider When Looking For Your Next Used Truck

No matter what you plan to use your pickup for, there are several common factors to consider. We discuss each here, not in any particular order.

Payload and Towing Capacity

If you're in the market for a pickup truck, it's more than likely because you need to haul or tow. That's why, when choosing the best truck to buy used, a truck's payload rating and towing capacity are key factors to consider.

To fully understand these numbers, it's important to know the definitions.

A truck's payload is not what it can carry in its bed. Payload takes into consideration everything a truck is capable of carrying. This includes the driver, passengers, cargo, and even a four-legged copilot or two. So, if your truck is primarily for work, and you carry a crew to the job site, the amount of items you can haul is reduced. This is when a larger truck with a higher payload rating should be considered.

The basic definition of towing capacity is the maximum total weight a vehicle can safely pull. To accurately determine a vehicle's true towing capabilities, there are a few pieces of information you need to find out.

You've probably seen several acronyms mentioned during discussions of towing capacity. There's GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating), and GCVWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating). The latter is often used interchangeably with GCWR.

GVWR includes the truck's curb weight, plus the combined weight of all cabin occupants and cargo. GCWR is the maximum amount a truck can weigh when on the road. This includes the vehicle's curb weight plus the weight of the trailer, as well as the combined weight of the driver, passengers, and cargo in both the tow vehicle and the trailer.

To calculate a pickup truck's maximum towing capacity, subtract curb weight from the GCWR.

Powertrain and Engine Options

With few exceptions, pickup trucks either have a rear-wheel drive (RWD) or four-wheel-drive (4WD) configuration. And, practically every truck on the market today is available only with an automatic transmission. (The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is a rare truck with a manual transmission.)

When you're looking for the best truck to buy used, to choose the best powertrain option, carefully consider the overall reason you're purchasing a truck and what work your truck will perform.

If you need to pull a camper or boat, a truck with RWD is typically the better choice. RWD vehicles usually have better tow ratings than 4WD trucks. The main reason is that a 4WD has a heavier curb weight, and as we learned earlier, towing capacity includes trailer weight and truck weight.

If you need a truck to haul loads around the city, RWD trucks tend to handle better than their 4WD counterparts. Also, if cost is a big consideration, RWD vehicles generally cost less.

If your adventures take you off the beaten path, you'll want a truck fitted with an off-road capable 4WD system. And, if you live in a part of the country that gets snow or other harsh weather, the added traction of a 4WD truck offers greater peace of mind while on the road. And, although a 4WD truck costs more initially, they are known to have a higher resale value.

Out of all the types of vehicles manufactured, trucks by far offer the most choices when it comes to engine options. It's not unusual for one model to offer five or six different engines, including several V6 engine variations, a turbodiesel engine, a V8 engine, and a hybrid powertrain.

It's important to note that if you need a powerful engine for heavy hauling, bigger isn't always necessarily better. Many of today's V6 engines produce more horsepower and torque than a V8. Make sure to check out the specifications for the specific engines when comparing for power.

Safety Ratings

Safety on the road should be high on the list of what's important to look for in a new car. The best trucks to buy used are those that offer a generous amount of vehicle safety and driver's assist features as standard equipment.

You'll also want to check out the crash test ratings for any used truck you're thinking of purchasing. Check out sites like the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for crash test ratings, as well as to get information on recalls.

Cost to Own

In addition to mileage and condition, the price of a used truck is certainly something to consider. But, more important than price, is an industry rating called Five-Year Cost To Own. The least expensive truck is not always the best choice once you take into consideration the money you typically need to put into it over the course of five years.

The Five-Year Cost To Own calculation is based on things like:
  • Fuel economy
  • Regular maintenance costs
  • Additional auto repairs
  • Insurance rates
  • Financing costs
  • State fees
  • Depreciation

Both Kelley Blue Book and Motor Trend offer this information for free.

Background Check

One final piece of information you'll want to find out before purchasing a used pickup truck is whether the vehicle has been in an accident or received any major repairs.

You can find this information from a Carfax™ vehicle history report or on sites like VINCheckPro.

What Are the Best Trucks to Buy Used?

There are literally millions of used trucks for sale at any given time, so you definitely have options. If you're looking for a reliable truck that's built to last, consider a truck from the Ford F-Series lineup. There's a reason the Ford F-Series has been the number one selling truck in America for decades.

The Ford F-Series includes the F-150, F-250, F-350, and F-450. Let's look at the specifications for the first three.

Used F-150

The Ford F-150 has been the industry's best-selling light-duty full-size pickup truck for 45 years consecutive years. Maybe that's because a used Ford F-150 has the lowest predicted five-year cost to own in the full-size pickup category?

F-150 engine options include:
  • 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 with max towing capacity up to 8,200 lbs.
  • 2.7L EcoBoost® V6 with max towing capacity up to 10,100 lbs.
  • 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with max towing capacity up to 14,000 lbs.
  • 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 with max towing capacity up to 13,000 lbs.

The Ford F-150 is also the first in its class to offer a full hybrid engine. The 430-horsepower 3.5L PowerBoost™ hybrid V6 produces 570 lb.-ft. of torque and can tow up to 12,700 lbs. The PowerBoost™ hybrid targets an EPA-estimated range of almost 700 miles on a single tank of gas†.

The F-150 offers three available bed lengths:
  • Short bed: 5.5-foot
  • Regular bed: 6.5-foot
  • Long bed: Eight-foot

Used F-250

The Ford F-250 features a six-speed automatic transmission and three engine choices:
  • 385-horsepower 6.2L V8 flex fuel engine
  • 6.7L Power Stroke® V8 turbo diesel engine
  • 7.3L 430-horsepower V8 gasoline engine with 475 lb.-ft. of torque

The F-250 Super Duty® offers class-leading horsepower and torque. When properly equipped, a 4X2 F-250 with a Regular Cab and diesel engine can tow up to 15,200 lbs. This is the best-in-class for full-size pickup trucks over 8,500 lbs. GVWR. Payload capacity tops out at 4,260 lbs.

Used F-350

The Ford F-350 has the same engine options as the F-250 but pairs them with a 10-speed automatic transmission. When equipped with the 6.7 Powerstroke and RWD, fuel efficiency is quite impressive for a heavy-duty, full-size truck. Expect about 22 mpg* city and 30 mpg* highway.

The maximum payload for the F-350 is 7,640 lbs., and when properly equipped, the F-350 hauls a class-leading 21,200 lbs.

All Ford F-Series trucks offer three cabin configurations:
  • A three-passenger Regular Cab
  • A SuperCab with reverse-opening third and fourth doors that seats six
  • A four-door, six-passenger Crew Cab

Used Ranger

One of the most reliable midsize trucks on the market, the Ford Ranger also boasts some of the lowest five-year-cost-to-own figures.

Standard specifications for a used Ford Ranger midsize pickup include:
  • Four-cylinder 2.3L EcoBoost® turbocharged engine with auto start-stop technology
  • Electric 10-speed SelectShift® automatic transmission with tow/haul mode
  • 7,500-lb. towing capacity (when equipped with Trailer Tow Package)
  • Choice of RWD or 4WD
  • EPA-estimated mpg* of 21/26 city/highway
  • Two available cab configurations: SuperCrew (crew cab) with a 5-foot bed or SuperCab (extended cab) with a 6-foot bed
  • Seating for five

Shop Used Ford Trucks Near Bellevue, WA

When you're searching for one of the best trucks to buy used, you want to go to a dealership with lots of experience in the used truck market. At AutoNation Ford Bellevue, not only do we know our pickup trucks, but we also have one of the greatest selections of used trucks in the Seattle, Bothell, Tacoma, Sammamish, and Kirkland areas.

When you search our used car inventory, you can rest assured you're looking at the most reliable, top-quality used trucks around. In order to be added to our inventory, every vehicle must pass a detailed 125-point inspection. And, every used truck on our lot is backed by a Carfax™ vehicle history report.

When you're ready to purchase one of the best trucks to buy used, our knowledgeable finance experts make your car-buying experience simple, straightforward, and hassle-free.

Wondering what the monthly payment for a specific used truck might be based on various down payment options? Use our payment calculator tool. You can also start the finance process today with our secure online finance application.

At AutoNation Ford Bellevue, we also carry the full lineup of new Ford vehicles and an excellent selection of Certified Pre-owned (GPO) sedans, minivans, and SUVs. Perhaps you want to compare a used Ford truck to that of another manufacturer? We carry a wide variety of used trucks including Chevy Silverados, GMC Sierra 1550s, Toyota Tacomas, Honda Ridgelines, Nissan Frontiers, and Dodge Ram 1500s.

Give us a call if you have questions about our inventory, or better yet, stop by to see the best trucks to buy used in person. Conveniently located at 411 116th Avenue NE, we're easy to find.

†Range and charge time based on manufacturer computer engineering simulations and EPA-est range calculation methodology. The charging rate decreases as battery reaches full capacity. Your results may vary based on peak charging times and battery state of charge. Actual vehicle range varies with conditions such as external environment, vehicle use, driving behaviors, vehicle maintenance, lithium-ion battery age and state of health.

*MPG Disclaimer: EPA estimated fuel economy compares the estimated mpg to the estimated mpg of other vehicles. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

Accessories and color may vary. Quoted price subject to change without notice to correct errors or omissions. New vehicle pricing may already include applicable manufacturer incentives which may expire at any time. Manufacturer incentive data and vehicle features is provided by third parties and believed to be accurate as of the time of publication. Please contact the store by email or phone for details and availability of incentives. Sales tax or other taxes, tag, title, registration fees, government fees, and $200 NEGOTIABLE DOCUMENTARY SERVICE FEE are not included in quoted price.

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Displayed MPG is based on applicable EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery pack age/condition (hybrid models only) and other factors.