The term ‘built like a truck’ exists for a very valid reason - pickup trucks are among the most reliable vehicles on the road. Utility and transportation vehicles have to be much tougher to endure crossing tens of thousands of miles every year.
This category includes cargo vans, 18-wheelers, but also pickup trucks of various sizes. Trucks have a chassis that can endure 30 years of use with ease, so if you buy a truck that’s a few years or even a decade old, it’ll still look and handle like the day it was built.
The mileage won’t be an issue either, as the engines fitted into pickup trucks can cross 200,000 miles with ease. Depending on the model, you should keep an eye on the critical points in the mileage where major service is imminent, but other than that, you’ll always be better off with a used truck.
Pickup trucks, especially those classified as light or medium offer a balance between a passenger and utility vehicle. A double cab can act as a perfect family vehicle on the weekends, with the luggage in the cargo bay and a trailer attached to the back. When it’s time to start working again on Monday, you can just load up the tools and get to wherever you’re needed.
There isn’t much of a difference in versatility between a new and used truck, but the difference in cost can be great enough to let you update your toolkit, get a camper trailer, or even a smaller boat. Ultimately, you can just keep the money in your pocket instead of spending it on a new truck.
The biggest problem with a new truck isn’t the high price, it’s how much of the value is lost through the first few years. As soon as you register the truck and take it out of the dealership, it immediately loses 10% of its value. The value continues to drop and by the fifth year, it has depreciated by 40-55%.
The issue becomes even greater when you take into account the financing plans. The price of the vehicle is raised due to the loan, and as you pay it off, the vehicle’s value deteriorates more quickly than you’re paying off the loan, meaning that at some point, you’ll be left with a loan greater than the value of the vehicle.
In contrast, buying a used truck, whether through financing or cash is a much better deal. A truck may lose 50% of its value in the first five years, but only 10-20% in the next five years, and after that, it settles around 20-30% as it depreciates very slowly.
This means that when you buy a used truck, you’re paying for the actual value of the vehicle, and you can always get most of your money back should you decide to sell it. A used vehicle doesn’t mean old, as 4-7-year-old trucks are still very modern both in terms of looks and features.
Features and Equipment
The most common misconception regarding the purchase of a truck is that you cannot get good equipment packages and features.
While it’s true that you may not get the latest features, if you have a sensible budget, you can get far better equipment on a used track than on a new one. On a new truck, most of the equipment is an optional extra, and can quickly drive the base price up, as much as 50% in some cases.
Once a highly equipped truck becomes available for sale as a used vehicle, all those extras are now worth a small fraction of what they were originally paid. A used truck may not have that new car smell, but it can certainly have all the tech and features you’d ever want.
When you look at pickup trucks from this perspective, there’s really no reason to buy a new one. A reliable, well-equipped used pickup trucks can serve you for 10-20 years without a problem.