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A new pickup truck offers the satisfaction of being the first owner, the latest tech and safety features, and a warranty covering problems for thousands of miles. With all those benefits, why would anyone say you don’t want a new pickup truck? Here’s the answer.

What makes a new pickup truck undesirable?

Consumer Reports gives one significant reason to avoid purchasing a new truck: depreciation.

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

Many consumers can find themselves “upside down” — owing more on the vehicle than it’s worth if they purchased it new. That makes trading in the car for a new model challenging.

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

Typically, two schools of thought exist for used versus new vehicles. One thinks used cars are only taking on the previous owners’ problems. The other thinks the opposite.

Consumer Reports offers several reasons why a used pickup truck is more desirable than a new one:

  • The used market is three times larger than the new market.
  • Depreciation has already happened to used pickups.
  • Trucks last an average of 200,000 miles, with many lasting much longer.

Furthermore, driving a used truck brings four considerable benefits:

  • Durability and reliability: Trucks are typically tough and long-lasting, even with daily use.
  • Better prices: Used models are typically priced lower than new pickup trucks.
  • More features and packages: The larger market offers a wider 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 pre-owned trucks require defining your parameters. For example, if you want the best for less than $20,000, Kelley Blue Book suggests these models:

  • 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

At that price point, many used trucks are still under 10 years old. The closer you get to the latest model year, the higher the purchase price and the greater the depreciation.

Should you get a new or used truck?

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

The choice to drive a new or used pickup truck is a personal and often-financial decision. On the one hand, new trucks depreciate faster but have more advanced technology. On the other hand, used trucks hold their value and cost less. Still, you inherit the previous owner’s driving habits and maintenance records.