5 things you should know before purchasing a humvee as a civilian

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Maria Rella)

Purchasing a Humvee differs from purchasing a civilian car since several factors must be considered, not just the cost of purchase and maintenance. Purchasing a vehicle that is too huge, too compact, or otherwise unsuitable for whatever you intend to do with it is impractical. With a huge proportion of Humvees presently being circulated from U.S. military service, you may want to take into account one as a hobby venture; thus, you should research what you need to know before purchasing one.

All-terrain but not all the same

Let’s answer the most pressing question: Why do you want a Humvee? You could use a Humvee for several purposes, including restoring for shows or off-road activities. Some people like Humvees because they are bigger than normal SUVs and probably the most bad ass. Whatever your reason for getting one, you should also keep in mind factors such as the vehicle’s spare parts availability and price. Like many Humvees, the components, equipment and cosmetics required to revive a basket case will cost as much as the original cost. 

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Katlin Kofchak)

And if the funds are available, are you ready to devote the time required to renovate a Humvee, and are you physically capable of working on the vehicle? Keep in mind that this is a heavy-duty machine, with one of its tires weighing approximately 155 pounds. So, are you capable of carrying such a load if you need to change a tire? How about financially? One must be ready to service and repair a Humvee along with performing a diagnosis for its high-tech troubles or be ready to shell out the money for an expert. This includes having the necessary skills, tools, and workspace negotiated in the final quote.

Check the engine’s condition

Most Humvees from military service have already been used and might need a few replacements. Since this is technically similar to when purchasing a second-hand civilian vehicle, you need to check if the engine is in good condition and strong enough to undertake certain activities. For this reason, you need to tag along with a professional, if you are not one yourself, to help you identify a perfectly-functioning engine. You wouldn’t want to purchase a Humvee that can barely move on terrains that a simple town car can. However, touching back on the why, if you purchase one as a fixer-upper project you may save money purchasing a more weathered one.

Confirm it has a clear title

Never purchase an iconic military or civilian car unless it has a legal title and the requisite documentation to register and license it in your state or country. Confirm if the car’s ID number on the title or documentation corresponds with the plates, and if you are skeptical about it, arrange for a title transfer deal with the vendor. Although Humvees are exclusively available for off-road use, you will still need legitimate proof of ownership.

maintenance before purchasing a humvee
(U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Ryan C. Matson)

Thoroughly scrutinize the Humvee

Humvees are commonly known for numerous break problems, which are normally minor but inconvenient if kept in check. If the vehicle has a weird sound, vibrates, squeals, or shudders, the brakes are in bad condition. Before purchasing your Humvee, ensure all the breaks are nice and tight and check if the bolts are loose. Additionally, examine all the tires and other places that might cause trouble, like wiring.

Test drive it!

While on a test drive, allow the vendor to drive first and attentively watch how he treats the Humvee. Because some owners routinely misuse vehicles without realizing it, this will help you determine whether or not the seller was treating it properly. Keep an ear out for howls or whines from the drive train. If you find everything in its proper place, return the next day to double-check it. Don’t be in a rush to get the first Humvee you see because there are others on the market. You’re going to own one for a while, so, take your time finding the perfect one for you.