I need to buy a car and I can't afford a new one, and since my anticipated use is very light, I don't even want or need one. I live in the county (so no public transport) and I just need a second vehicle for the occasional times when my family has a transportation scheduling issue. I'd also like it to be a pickup truck so I can very occasionally haul dirty things like trash or mulch. My anticipated mileage is probably less than 1,000 miles per year. To emphasize: the truck would not be a primary vehicle for daily commuting, plowing, construction, etc.; it just needs to basically work.
Therefore, I'd like to buy one of the various used trucks I'm finding in the $2,000-$3,000 range, which is a vehicle that's 15-20 years old and above 100,000 miles.
For me, a successful purchase is to spend in that price range, have the vehicle pass inspection and run for two years and only a few thousand ow miles, and then, worst case, be sold for scrap. Best case, live a while longer with reasonable repairs and maintenance.
I am not a mechanic or knowledgeable about cars, so I would want to bring any vehicle to a local mechanic, perhaps the dealer for that brand, and pay them their standard rate to evaluate the vehicle and tell me what they think.
My question is: if the mechanic says the vehicle checks out okay, should I have reasonable confidence that the vehicle will meet my needs, or is it possible that a major failure can show up at any time and not be spotted even by the experts?