I really enjoy shopping for vehicles, and could probably be considered a hobby of mine! Something that is noticeable, is how much pickup trucks retain their value. While cars and crossovers tend to drop in price, and continue to do so, pickups seem to stay much closer to their original price than the former.
So why do pickups retain their value more than other vehicles on the road? Pickup trucks tend to retain their value for a multitude of reasons including that they are work vehicles, multi-purpose vehicles, are great at off-roading, and just the fact that people hang onto them much longer than other vehicles.
Let’s dig into this a little bit more and discuss each point!
1. It’s a Multi-Use Vehicle
I think this is by far the biggest reason why a pickup truck retains its value! These vehicles can be basic a-to-b transportation, or they can be your road trip vehicle.
They can take your kids to a soccer game, or be a professional business vehicle. They can tow a jet ski, or tow a 10,000+ pound camper trailer.
On top of this, pickups also have a wide range of accessories that can be built onto them! This can range from roof top tents, to bike racks and construction equipment including welders or water tanks. This is something that other vehicles just can’t do (or at least quite as well).
Because of this, a pickup can replace an SUV, or a sedan easily making it a vehicle that is in a crazy amount of demand.
More demand, means a higher price, and retained value.
2. Trucks are Used for work settings
Companies are willing to invest in a vehicle, if it means it will last! Because of this, prices stay higher on pickup trucks, as demand is high from companies or people that need to use their truck for work. When only a truck will do, you have to buy a truck.
3. They are Driven the farthest
Pickups are well known to be able to drive long distances without issues (including towing large trailers), and be able to do it repeatedly. As we have discussed already, when a vehicle is able to do something better than anything else on the market, it will drive up its price and help it retain value.
We can’t really imagine a sedan, or even an SUV (for the most part) that can compete with a purpose built vehicle meant for long, grueling hauls of large freight.
4. Can be used for Off-roading and Over-landing
Taking a vehicle off-road, whether that be rock crawling or overlanding is growing in popularity every day! Pickup trucks in particular are extremely well suited for this task due to their high clearance, reliability, and large amounts of room for storage.
Whether these vehicles ever actually make it off-road or if they sit in a mall parking lot is a whole different conversation. However, regardless, this growing popularity lends a hand to the higher than normal value retention.
5. Buy instead of lease
Because pickups tend to be used hard, and more for business, trucks are much more often bought instead of leased. Leased vehicles generally are turned back in and sold after two years, which gives a huge influx of newer, lower mileage inventory.
Meanwhile, since pickups are bought, and used for 5-10 years, there isn’t a huge amount of newer inventory ready to bought. Those pickups that are resold after 1-2 years are in high demand, with low inventory, meaning they can ask for a higher price as that is still a great deal in comparison to buying a brand new truck.
6. Trucks are kept longer
Generally speaking, as trucks are meant more for work, and less as a status symbol people don’t have the need or want to upgrade their vehicle all that often. Because of this people keep their trucks longer, leaving less newer pickup truck inventory on the market.
This also is a good reason why pickups are more expensive, as owners are more willing to keep the vehicle if they aren’t able to sell it for a higher price.
Frequently Asked Questions
By far, the pickup that retains its value the best has to be the Toyota Tundra. This pickup is well known for its capability, and even more-so its reliability. These pickups are one of the few that can almost be expected to almost if not exceed 1,000,000 miles.
Even though it is the top sold pickup, the F-150 is the top depreciating pickup truck. I believe this is attributed mainly to its popularity. The more inventory of a vehicle on the market, the easier it is to find one at a lower price. This lower demand leaves a lower resale value.
Jeep Wranglers are not pickups, yet they retain their value like a pickup (even more so). These vehicles do this due to their popularity, iconic design, and their off-roading credentials. If you are a Jeep fan, then you are Jeep fan, and the Wrangler is what people want. Well, unless you want at Bronco that is.
Pickup trucks are growing in popularity, yet people are hanging onto them for longer as work vehicles, off-road vehicles and more. Because of this we see that they are easily hanging onto their value much more than other vehicles like sedans and SUVs.
If you are looking to buy a used truck nowadays, you will probably want to up your budget a little in comparison to if you were looking at something else.