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A new pickup truck offers the satisfaction of being the first owner, brings the latest safety gear and modern equipment, and you’ll have a factory warranty to cover any issues for several thousand miles. With all of these benefits, why would Consumer Reports tell you that you don’t want a new pickup truck?

What makes a new pickup truck undesirable?

Consumer Reports only gives us one reason to turn away from a new truck. That reason is depreciation.

Depreciation is the amount a vehicle decreases in value over time. The old joke is that most new vehicles lose half their value as soon as you drive them off the lot. This happens with pickup trucks, but it takes about three years.

Many consumers can find themselves “upside down,” which means owing more on the vehicle than it’s worth when they choose new vehicles. This makes it difficult to trade that vehicle in later if you want to select a new model.

How can a used truck be more desirable than a new model?

Typically, two schools of thought are present for used vs. new vehicles. Some think used vehicles are only taking on the problems of the previous owners, while others think the opposite.

Consumer Reports goes further to tell us that a used truck could be much more desirable than a new pickup truck. CR’s reasons are:

  • The used market is three times the new market
  • Depreciation has already occurred for used pickups
  • Trucks last an average of 200,000 miles or more, with many lasting much longer

Driving a used truck brings four important benefits, which are:

  • Durability and Reliability – trucks are made tough and should last a long time, even when used for daily work
  • Better Prices – Used trucks are typically priced lower than new pickup trucks
  • More Features and Packages – The larger market offers a greater selection
  • Less Depreciation – After the first three years, the depreciation rate slows dramatically

What is a good used truck model?

White 2014 Ford F-150 on a dirt road at a farm. This could be the used truck that brings value to your drive.
2014 Ford F-150 | Ford

The best used truck models require defining your parameters. For example, if you’re searching for the best used trucks under $20,000, Kelley Blue Book suggests:

  • 2015 Toyota Tundra
  • 2015 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2014 Ford F-150
  • 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
  • 2013 Ram 1500
  • 2014 Ford F-250 Super Duty
  • 2013 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2016 Chevrolet Colorado
  • 2016 GMC Canyon
  • 2016 GMC Sierra 1500

As you can see, at this price point, you see a wide variety of trucks that are still within the first 10 years in the market. The closer you get to the new model year; the more trucks cost and the more depreciation will occur.

Should you drive a new or used pickup truck?

Gray 2018 Toyota Tacoma tossing dirt around
Gray 2018 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

The choice to drive a new or used pickup truck is a personal and often financial decision. New trucks depreciate faster but offer new, modern equipment. Used trucks hold their value and cost less. Still, you do inherit the previous owner’s driving habits and maintenance records.

Next, check out some factors to consider when choosing a pickup truck, or learn more about whether you should drive a new or used pickup truck in this video below: