Shopping for a used Tacoma can be a pain in the ass

I finally landed my new (to me) Toyota Tacoma, but the search for these non-depreciating workhorses was painful. Literally, my eyes were burning some nights looking at ads and emails trying to find the right truck at the right price.

When I decided to buy a used Tacoma instead of new, I had no idea how well they held their value. I was looking at 6 year old trucks with over 110,000 miles go for more than $20,000. And if you want 4×4… expect to pay thousands more. I didn’t want to spend more than $20k so my options were pretty limited.

It took awhile to realize I had to change my game plan. When you finally accept that Toyota Tacoma (and other foreign trucks) have a high resale value, things become easier.

I opted for an older truck that was well maintained, clean, and had low miles. It’s a 2006 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport, Double Cab Long Bed.

With only 69,000 miles and great condition the KBB value was at just over $17,200. I ended up paying a bit under $17k and I’m happy with the purchase. Not to mention relieved that I finally found a vehicle for our camping and beach trips, and times when I need to haul something. I saw about 4 trucks besides this one and contacted at least 20 sellers.

It was hell.

Just be patient and don’t settle… I almost did and I would have regretted my decision. My search included Craigslist, Tacoma World forums, and Autotrader.

Be ready with a decent cash deposit when you go see a truck. These things go fast, especially in Southern California. There was another guy literally begging my seller to let him see it and make a bigger offer just a few minutes after I handed over my deposit. Don’t lose out on a good deal and be prepared.

If you aren’t sure on the condition take it to a mechanic. The Automobile Club (AAA) has a used car buying service where you can get at a list of local mechanics that have partnered with them and get the car/truck inspected for free — before purchase. Good deal.

Now to figure out how to control my spending on truck mods and add-ons. I’m looking forward to reviewing some Tacoma truck accessories and mods that I’ve done for my rig.

Let me know how your Tacoma shopping experience goes. Happy shopping and good luck!

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