Owning a Pickup Truck as Your First Vehicle: The Upsides and Downs

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A pickup truck is the perfect first vehicle for so many people. It’s tough, it can handle almost anything you throw at it, and they come in a wide variety of colors to suit any taste. But there’s more to pickup trucks than meets the eye- or pickup bed! We’re about to get into some of the upsides and downsides that you might not have considered when looking at pickup trucks as your first vehicle option.

So why are pickups great first vehicles? Pickups make great first vehicles due to their cargo area, the ability to take a beating, and of course their reliability. Teenagers not only like to take their friends with them, but they also like to take plenty of equipment, whether that be for sporting events to music equipment. This makes a pickup ideal for that first vehicle.

So let’s take a deeper look at those reasons, however, we will also talk later in the article a bit more about why pickups might not be a great first vehicle so you can make an educated decision.

Why pickups are great first vehicles?

1. Can take a beating.

Pickups are designed to be tough and can take a beating. They’re built like the proverbial brick house. If you plan on getting into some light off-roading or just want something to drive in all weather conditions this is your first vehicle choice!

Not only are they great off-road, but they can take the beating that young drivers have to offer their first vehicle! This includes stronger transmissions, more hardy engines, and more.

New drivers are notoriously hard on vehicles, so having something that can take that is ideal.

2. Lots of cargo area

Pickup trucks have a lot of cargo areas, both in the pickup bed and inside. So if you’re looking for an inexpensive first vehicle it’s great to be able to use your pickup for hauling everything from furniture or yard supplies to camping gear.

I remember as a teenager, feeling like I needed considerably more storage than my small car had to offer, and a pickup would have solved that no problem!

As mentioned earlier in this article, teenagers have a surprising amount of stuff they need to take around, and a pickup offers this!

3. Pickup trucks are very reliable

Pickup trucks are very reliable. They’re built tough with a lot of hard-working components that rarely need to be replaced, especially in the case of used pickup trucks for sale. Because of this, it does make a great first vehicle!

Since pickups are first and foremost meant for work, reliability during development takes that first spot in their design process.

Why you shouldn’t buy a pickup for first vehicles?

1. Gas mileage isn’t the best.

If you’re looking for a vehicle that gets great gas mileage, a pickup truck is not the ideal choice. It’s one of the least fuel-efficient types of vehicles on the road today. With older pickups (which are generally first vehicles) expect to get between 12 and 15 miles per gallon in a pickup truck.

This is one of the biggest downsides to owning a pickup truck as your first vehicle, especially if you’re trying to save money on gas! If you buy used pickup trucks for sale they’ll be even less efficient because most people keep their pickups longer than any other type of car or truck.

2. Trucks have Less than great visibility

Due to their size, pickups have dismal visibility. You’ll have a particularly difficult time seeing other drivers on the road, especially if you’re driving in snowy or rainy conditions.

When a new driver is driving a pickup they likely will have a hard time when they can’t see super well past the A-pillar, or over the hood to see what is right in front of them. Extra care needs to be taken by the new driver to make sure they don’t run over anything whether that be when moving forward, backing up, or turning.

3. Higher price point

Another downside to pickup trucks is that they usually have a higher price point than other types of used first vehicles. You’ll pay more for a pickup truck, and it may force you into buying an older model since the newer ones can be out of your budget range!

Pickups are just expensive, there isn’t any way around that! So make sure a pickup is right for your needs before moving forward on purchasing one.

What other vehicles make a good first car?

Alright, so a pickup isn’t quite right for your new driver? There are of course SUVs like a Tahoe or an Expedition. However, you should also be keeping a close eye on the hatchback market!

I am a huge fan of hatchbacks and wagons, as they off superior fuel economy and more cargo room than a sedan. So if you’re looking for something that is still practical, economical, and safe, I suggest considering a hatchback or wagon!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are pickups useful?

Pickups are useful for hauling heavier loads. They also have a lot of cargo space inside the pickup bed and in the cab, so if you want something versatile or need to haul heavy stuff this is your first vehicle choice!

What is the most reliable first car?

Pickup trucks are reliable first vehicles, especially older pickup trucks for sale. The most well-known and popular vehicle to use as a first vehicle is typically small cars like subcompacts or compacts because they’re affordable and easy to drive!

Is a BMW a good first car for a teenager?

A BMW is not a good first car for teenagers since it’s expensive to fix due not only to being an imported vehicle but also because failure rates are considerably higher on these cars. BMWs are also difficult to drive due to having considerably more power than other vehicles meaning that teenagers will be using all of that horsepower, with very little experience.


Pickup trucks are great first vehicles, but there’s more to them than meets the eye. They’re tough and can handle almost any conditions you throw at them, making pickup trucks one of the best first vehicle options out there!

However, they have some downsides that might not be immediately apparent- including poor visibility on account of their size and higher price point.

First vehicle options are many and pickup trucks should be included on your list of car types to consider when you’re trying to find the best first vehicles for teens! They can take a beating, easily haul lots of cargo, and get decent gas mileage despite their size- but they aren’t without downsides too.

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