Best First Trucks Under $10,000

Buying your first pickup truck is a huge milestone. Whether it’s for a first-time driver or someone who’s never owned a pickup before, the first choice is critical. There are plenty of used models that cater to the specific needs of first-time truck drivers that won’t break the bank. U.S. News released a list of best-used trucks and three of the top choices came in under $10,000.

A green Dodge Dakota pickup truck under the snow
Dodge Dakota | Randy Risling/Toronto Star via Getty Images

A safe workhorse for first-time truck drivers

The 2010 Dodge Dakota is a great first truck under $10,000 for first-time drivers who need a reliable work truck. This model has one of the highest towing capacities in its class. It’s capable of pulling 7,250 pounds with makes it perfect for various recreational and work activities. Young drivers could easily use this truck to run a small business without making a huge investment.

This truck was criticized for being underpowered, but that may benefit young and inexperienced drivers. New drivers who are still perfecting their skills don’t need an engine that pushes limits and breaks records. Instead, a focus on safety features, ease of use, and dependability better serve these unique needs. The 2010 Dodge Dakota is a perfect first Trucks Under $10,000 that’s often underrated.

This used truck is great first trucks under $10,000 for all ages

2016 Toyota Tacoma interior

RELATED: The Most Popular Pickup Trucks of All Time

The 2009 Toyota Tacoma is a great truck. Its high-quality interior makes it an easy transition for drivers accustomed to the comfort-centered interiors of sedans or SUVs. This truck also boasts standard safety features like traction and stability control were standard in this model year. Front-seat side and side-curtain airbags make this one of the safest trucks in its class.

U.S. News ranked the 2009 Toyota Tacoma second among all 2009 compact pickup trucks. It also won the publication’s 2009 Best Compact Truck for the Money award. This popular truck boasts better fuel economy than its contemporaries, getting an EPA estimated 23 mpg. The front seats impress reviewers, as does the comfortable ride and well-appointed cabin.

This inexpensive truck is an all-around best choice

The Reagans with their Ford Ranger | Hulton Archive via Getty Images

RELATED: The Ranger Isn’t Ford’s First Midsize Truck

2009 Ford Ranger has a strong and reliable V6 engine that makes it popular as a budget used car. Some criticisms of the Ranger focus on its cramped interior and low-quality interior materials. These may not be make-or-break features for drivers looking for easy entry into truck ownership. This inexpensive truck is a practical choice as a reliable workhorse.

The 2009 Ford Ranger has a towing capacity of 6,000 pounds and can handle most chores with ease. Its gas mileage is slightly above average for its class, offering an estimated 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Some models offer features like leather seats, keyless entry, and cruise control. Many reviews have mentioned the rear seat in the extended cab option. The rear seat has been heavily criticized for being too cramped. It’s best to think of the Ranger as a two-seat option.

Buying a first truck doesn’t have to be stressful and expensive. Some careful research into used options can score drivers a reliable truck at a fraction of the price of buying new. There are some great options for budgets under $10,000.