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I have owned used pickups for years (and have never owned a new vehicle) and have seen the ups and downs of used pickup truck ownership. This ranged from a truck that I couldn’t get to stop leaking oil to my most recent truck (that I just sold), which was one of the best vehicles I have ever owned.
With that knowledge, I hope to help you understand and decide if owning a used pickup truck is worthwhile! I will talk about the upsides and, of course, the downsides of used truck ownership to see if it is worth it.
A used pickup can be a fantastic vehicle if you make the right choice and do your due diligence when buying your truck. While there are more risks to buying a used pickup truck, it also can have a big payoff, as these used trucks likely be used for years to come, you don’t have to worry about depreciation or damaging them, and you can save a ton of money.
So, here is everything you need to know about if a pickup truck is worth having in your garage!
1. Let’s talk about your warranty | Winner: New Truck
Anyone that knows me knows that I like a good warranty! I am not talking about an extended warranty; I am talking about a good manufacturer warranty, where you work with the same company that builds your truck.
Used pickups (generally) don’t have these warranties, and new trucks do! This helps you out in cases where there are issues with engines, transmissions, and even small things like sensors and premature wear of interior materials.
You will need to decide if having a warranty, where you can send your truck to the dealer free of charge to have something fixed, rather than you footing the bill, gives you the peace of mind to splurge for that new truck.
2. Condition of the truck | Winner: New Truck
Nothing beats the new car smell! While you could get a new car smell air freshener (yes, those exist), buying a truck right off the showroom floor is better. These trucks have never seen a day of work in their life, and that means you are the first one to add chunks of mud to the floor mats, leave your half-eaten fast food containers in the backseat, and put that first dent in the tailgate because you are towing your trailer wrong.
On the flip side, a used pickup will have already had all of those experiences. The missed oil changes, the rusted-out fenders, and all the french fries under the seats. I digress. Of course, I make it sound worse than it is, though. There are so many used trucks out there that are in fantastic shape. However, it does take time and patience to find them.
3. Initial Cost & Depreciation of The Truck | Winner: Used Truck
Depreciation and cost are the #1 reasons you would want to go with a used pickup truck. Somewhere between 9% and 20% of the value of a vehicle is dropped off the sticker price the moment you drive off a lot. After just five years of ownership, you will lose about half the value of your pickup.
With that said, if you are open to a used pickup truck, you can get a high-quality and still “like new” truck for half the cost of buying a brand-new one.
Depending on the truck, this can mean you will save upwards of $30,000 if you are willing to wait five years for your dream truck. With that savings, you could replace a failed engine multiple times before the ROI makes sense.
- All 14 Best Pickup Trucks For Towing Over 10,000 Pounds (lbs)
- Top 4 Pickups With Cummins Engines
- Top 4 Pickup Trucks to Tow a Fifth Wheel Trailer
4. Using the Truck Daily | Winner: Used truck
Trucks are built to work, and work hard! While many are used to transporting families to the grocery store and back, plenty need to be able to haul trailers, move gravel, and be a truck. That is where a used truck shines! You don’t have to worry about scratching, denting, or damaging your used truck, as it likely already has all of those things.
5. Safety features | Winner: New Truck
Technology in vehicles and even pickups is constantly growing. With adaptive cruise control, lane keeps assist, and even 3D cameras to help with parking becoming available in trucks, you will likely need to splurge and get a new truck to make that happen.
New safety features and developments in crash test worthiness are happening every year. If you want to be at h the forefront of this, you will want a new truck.
6. Ease of Purchase | Winner: New Truck
Finding the right used pickup that weighs out the correct mileage, condition, history, and availability is a pain. I spend months trying to find the right one whenever I switch to my new vehicle. Talking back and forth with private party sellers (this is the best way to save money) takes a toll on your sanity.
Meanwhile, a new truck is as easy as dropping into a dealership to see what new inventory they have on hand. Alternatively, you can visit any manufacturer’s website and build your truck from scratch just the way you want.
Is a used pickup worth it to you?
In most cases, a used pickup truck will work for you! Unexpected (and uncovered) repairs are less frequent than the inevitable and immediate depreciation when you drive a new truck off the lot. You also benefit from not having to worry about scratching your fresh paint and can use it as you need.
However, if having the latest safety features, driver assist, and more are essential to you, a new pickup will be your option.
So there you have it! You need to know everything about how a used pickup truck will differ from a new pickup. Now it is up to you to determine precisely which is best for your situation. Will you opt for the safety of having a truck with a warranty, or are you willing to take a bit more risk to get a used truck but save thousands? You decide.