Have you ever shopped around for that perfect used truck and ever wondered how a truck can be so stinking expensive with so many miles? I have! More specifically Toyota Tundras, and Tacomas, but also F-150s, Titans and more.
I think these high prices come down to a couple things! These trucks are built for durability, are in extremely high demand, as well as they are really usable for most families. However in the end, it all summarizes down to supply and demand.
So let’s dig a little more into the specifics on why and how these different factors come into play.
This of course is the main reason a truck tends to be so much more than a car or SUV. Pickups are built to withstand abuse, work, and long stretches of use on the open road.
Because of this, the price reflects its ability. The longer a vehicle will run, the better the value the vehicle is.
A great example, is that recent million mile Tundras we have been seeing. If you read this article on The Drive you will find this vehicle was driven over a million miles with extremely little major repairs.
Now this is also why you see a lot of Toyota and Honda sedans going for such a high price, meanwhile you can get an older Mercedes for a fraction of the price. The former is just more reliable, and inexpensive to fix.
2. Useful multipurpose vehicles
Trucks aren’t meant just to carry loads anymore. If you get a crew cab version of a truck, it also makes a great daily family driver as well. So instead of needing two purpose built vehicles, you now only have to own one.
Because of this flexibility in usage, you can at one point be in your daily commute, and the next minute hauling a literal ton of dirt.
The more you can do with a vehicle, and the more use you can get out of it, the higher the price.
3. People use them for work, so are in high demand
Similar to the earlier point, trucks are used for work. This means that when someone needs a truck, they have to get a truck. However the other way around tends to not be an issue, if someone needs a car, they can also get a truck.
If there is an item that someone has to have, and it is in high demand, then that price goes up!
When people need that truck to make a living, and they need a good reliable vehicle, those trucks demand a premium, and then you see all of the pricing reflect that.
4. Originally higher priced
Pickups also start off at a much higher price, meaning they have to drop considerably farther to be on par with their sedan and SUV siblings.
If you were to look at the ratio of cars, SUVs, and trucks and compare them from their original price to their current price, I am sure you will find that ratio much closer than you originally had thought.
Trucks are expensive to make, as they have so much more steel, aluminum and just product in general to them.
5. Still owe on the truck
Of course this doesn’t really have to do with the vehicle itself, however when you are looking at vehicles in general and the price just seems excessively high, I have found that many times the current owner still owes on the vehicle and is upside down on the loan.
This means they owe more to the bank, than the vehicle is worth.
It’s an unfortunate spot, but can tend to push those prices upwards in comparison to vehicles that are paid off.
How to save money when shopping for a truck?
If you are looking to buy a used truck with higher miles, but still just can’t quite afford it, there are a couple things you can do to make the price a bit lower.
Choose a truck with a smaller or less desirable engine
Most trucks out there have many different engines that can be optioned for the vehicle. For example, in the more inexpensive trucks you have the Dodge with the 5.7, Chevy with the 5.3, and Toyota with the 4.7. All of those engines are extremely well known to be great workhorses.
However, if you are just looking to buy a pickup on a budget, and don’t plan on working the engine hard, you might be able to save yourself some money by opting for something like Dodge’s 4.7, or Ford’s 4.6l engine.
These engines tend to have less horsepower, and tend to be less durable. However they will allow you to gain access to a cheaper truck.
Buy a two door, or extended cab version
Because of what we talk about earlier about versatility, if you are able to opt for a two door, or an extended cab version of a truck you can save some money. Remember, for those that have to have the full 4 door trucks, they have to spend the extra. So the less usable trucks that have less doors tend to be less in cost.
If you need to optimize your storage because of the smaller cab, you might take a look at a good truck bed organizer.
Look for trucks in rough shape
Of course this is your final option. If you have to have the good engine, and the full four doors, but still need to stick to a budget, you can always find a truck in less than perfect condition.
Make sure when you are doing this that either you, or someone with you is able to take a look and make sure it will be reliable for your uses, as a truck in rough shape cosmetically sometimes can reflect less than fantastic maintenance.
However if it was used as a work truck in the past, it may have been maintained extremely well.
We have learned in this article that there are quite a few reasons that can cause a truck to have a higher price than cars, or SUVs. However I still believe durability and their multiple functions make the biggest difference.
For those of you that are finding the current trucks you are looking at are far too expensive for your liking, you might want to look at this list that talks about how you may be able to make your current truck more modern, and make it so you will want to keep it a bit longer.