Even if you don't consider yourself a truck person, when doing yard work, moving, or cleaning out the garage or basement, you've probably wished you owned one. Well, why not? Cue the used pickup truck. It might be the solution. If you're used to buying used because it's a better value, you might be in for sticker shock when pricing used trucks for the first time. They can seem expensive for the mileage and years on them. But is that higher price fair? The short answer is yes--and here's why.
Used Trucks Retain Their Value
A used truck retains its value far better than most other vehicles. Most pickups are reliable machines that take a beating and keep on trucking. Brand new trucks cost more, which means that, in comparison, the used price will be equally large. Part of that is because of what a truck can do and part of it is because of how the truck is built. Trucks, for the most part, have a longer lifespan than other vehicles. While it's somewhat unlikely that a sedan will last, intact, for a decade or more, it's a common story for trucks. Trucks are often built of heavier, more durable materials, which gives them the advantage over time.
Older Used Trucks Aren't Scary
Because they are built to last, buyers don't have to be afraid of older trucks--it's not like buying an older car or SUV. In fact, the exterior condition may not even matter much depending on your needs, and a few scrapes and dings speak to the truck's capability more than anything. Your most important focus should be on the engine, the truck's capability, the configurations to make sure that it can do what you want it to do. Check the Blue Book value and go forward if it's fairly priced.
Depending on what you're looking for, you may not even need all the bells and whistles that are now a part of top-trim trucks. Your used truck, especially if it's not your daily commuter, will still get the job done.
Remember to Match Your Needs
Buy the used pickup sized to fit your needs. If you just need it for the odd job, a Ford F-350 or Ram 3500 are certainly more truck than you'll use. A half-ton or compact truck is probably more your size. On the other hand, if you're just starting out in construction, farming, manufacturing, or delivery, you may need all the horsepower and torque you can possibly get. Look at those more powerful options, but no need to splurge on the LED headlights, WiFi hotspot, or heated and ventilated seats unless you really want bragging rights included.