The 3 Best Used Pickup Trucks to Buy When You’re Dead Broke

Can’t afford a brand-spankin’ new Toyota Tundra or Ford F-150? No worries, we got you covered. Great trucks don’t always have to be new trucks or even expensive trucks for that matter. Here are the three best used pickup trucks to buy when you’re dead broke.

The Ford Ranger is a reliable cheap used pickup truck

A gray Ford Ranger XLT is on display during North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center in Detroit, MI, United States on January 15, 2018.
Ford Ranger XLT is on display during North American International Auto Show | David Graff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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The Ford Ranger is one of the best used pickup trucks you can buy if you’re strapped for cash. Ford Ranger models are reliable. Used models can be found for affordable prices, and the cost of parts won’t break the bank.

Even new Ford Ranger models are relatively inexpensive, so plenty of older Ranger models can be found for under $6,000. If you’re looking for an even cheaper model, check out the 2003 Ford Ranger. According to Kelley Blue Book, it received a 4.5/5 consumer rating. KBB estimates that used 2003 Ford Ranger base models can be found for under $4,700.

The Nissan Titan is one of the best used pickup trucks to buy when you’re broke

A black Nissan Titan pickup truck.
The Nissan Titan | Jim Mahoney/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

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The Nissan Titan isn’t pretty. It doesn’t provide as smooth a ride as its competitors. The Titan doesn’t outperform competitors in towing capacity. Its cabin is nothing to write home about. The Titan does enough to satisfy consumers looking for a cheap pickup truck with a decent powertrain.

The 2004 Nissan Titan received a 4.6/5 consumer score on Kelley Blue Book. KBB estimates the 2004 Nissan Titan has a fair market value of about $8,684. Some older Titan models can be found for much less. Don’t plan on towing with the Titan or putting major miles on it. It will get you through a hard time for an affordable price for a few years.

The Ford F-150 has been a reliable pickup truck for decades

A red 2021 Ford F-150 driving, the latest Ford F-150 recall includes the truck's seatbelts
2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid | Ford

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New Ford F-150 models start at $29,290. Luckily, the F-150 has been around for a long time, and its older models are still very reliable pickup truck options. Like the Ranger, the F-150 was built to last, and its parts are affordable.

The Ford F-150 is a staple in the full-size pickup truck vehicle class for a reason. If you’ve got under five grand and need a truck, an old-school F-150 could be just what the doctor ordered. The 2002 Ford F-150 got a 4.7 consumer rating on Kelley Blue Book. The base model regular cab short bed version has an approximate fair purchase price of just $4,061.

How to buy a cheap used pickup truck when you’re broke

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When you need a pickup truck and don’t have much money, the best thing to do is decide how much you can afford to spend on a truck. Choosing the most reliable truck is often the most cost-effective choice. Some reliable truck brands include Toyota, Ford, Honda, and Nissan. Do your research to decide which brand seems like the best fit for you.

When you narrow down your search to a specific make, search for the most reliable model years. Trucks like the Toyota Tacoma have plenty of great model year options, though the Tacoma is hard to find at affordable prices recently. When you’re on a strict budget, the best option is the option that has the lowest cost of ownership.

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