Why do used pickup trucks cost so dang much?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by chris m., Mar 14, 2019.

  1. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    My wife and I are toying with the idea of getting a pickup truck in a crew cab configuration as our fun vehicle. It can tow our boat, and we can load it up with mt bikes, surf boards, etc., in the back for adventures. We need 4WD because the boat ramps are often slimy at the bottom during low tide. Having the front wheels pull can make all the difference when it comes time to pull boat and trailer back out of the water.

    So I've been looking at the new Ford Ranger, as well as Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado. Has to be the Tacoma or Ranger because my wife thinks the Colorado is ugly. If I spec one out brand new they come out to somewhere around $38k to $40k give or take. And that, my friends, is a lot of Telecasters!! I hate the idea of spending this much money on ANY car.

    So then I start looking at used ones. There aren't any used Rangers since they just came out again in 2019. So I peruse ads for F150s, Tacomas, Silverados. Typically a truck that goes for $40k new still goes for $22 to $26k or more even when it is 4 years old and has over 90k miles on it. I find this a bit shocking. In contrast, if you buy a used, cream puff Mercedes with maybe 80k miles on it you will pay less than half of sticker price. You get a car with only maybe 1/4 of its life spent at less than half the original price. With trucks it seems to be the opposite-- you get a vehicle with perhaps half of its life spent and yet you're only getting maybe 1/3 to 1/4 off the price. Tacomas are the worst-- resale value is so high that given lower interest rates on new cars you might as well buy a new one.

    So what's up with that? Why are used pickup trucks so dang expensive?
     
  2. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    2 words-Supply and Demand. For some time the F150 has been the most popular vehicle sold in America. So much so that Ford is virtually halting sedan manufacturing.
     
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  3. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Can't put a hitch on a Mercedes.
     
  4. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, you can put a hitch on lots of Mercedes-- they make big vans, SUVs, even huge commercial trucks.....
    but no mid-size pickup trucks.
     
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  5. Deathray

    Deathray TDPRI Member

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    I have a Tacoma, and they do get ridiculous money on the used market. You may as well buy a new one, if you’re looking at anything 5 years old, or less.
    That being said, the Tacoma is the benchmark for mid sized trucks. I absolutely love mine!
     
  6. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    They do come with a lot of standard features nowadays. Basically luxury cars with pickup beds. And all cars are more expensive these days because of all the wonderful amenities you get standard nowadays.
    But it still shocks me a bit. You can get something like a Honda Civic fairly well loaded with all this stuff, too, and it's still at least 10k cheaper. Sure the truck uses a bit more material but at the end of
    the day most of the cost is in labor and that's about the same either way. As mentioned earlier, it must be good old supply and demand, and possibly less competition. There's a lot more companies vying
    with one another in the SUV, crossover SUV, and sedan markets than there are in the pickup truck segment. Honda Ridgeline is another one that my wife thinks is too ugly so that's off the table, too.
     
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  7. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    My wife has a GLS-550. It has a towing capacity of 7500lbs. An F-150 has a towing capacity of 5000-8000lbs.

    I have a friend who sells used cars. He mostly sells Volvos but has been selling more and more used trucks. He told me they're selling for more because new trucks cost so much that it drives the used price up.
     
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  8. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    High resale has been there for decades.

    As much as the Ranger had moved to the top with some important features and characteristics, I'll point out that each time we bought a popular Toyota new at good cash price we more than got it back with resale and a lack of repairs. That goes for selling or trading in a few years or in 15. Our kids' old Camry is not only reliable but still worth much more than Chrysler, GM and Fords like it.

    If I'd retire and go back to guiding or pro trail building the new Ranger would be appealing. I liked having a turbo car when I was in the mountains and you'd have that effect.

    FYI: We happily moved away from pickups and that type of SUV and are really happy. Many we know with an active lifestyle did the same and got AWD Siennas to address traction. I go rent a pickup when truly needed and otherwise love our 292 HP lowered Sienna. It's been to boat landings, mountains, all over. I can't imagine wanting to own a pickup again when they cost $60 to maybe $300 when I truly need them. Even the best late model pickups still have sucky handling compared to a Sienna SE or modified AWD (and standard) models.

    Yeah I know. I'm in the minority of thinking so much of the pickup truck ownership is stupid but I grew up with them, drove Macks and Kenworths and basically had to have them for parts of my life. I like comfy, quiet and performance.

    :)

    FYI: Crew or 4 door? I have friends with the 4 door pickups that can't carry as much as a minivan. I'm really sure you have a 5 ft bed limitation with the 4 full doors.
     
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  9. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, it's pretty frustrating for sure. Worn out trucks for thousands.
     
  10. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Because people have to pay their student loans
     
  11. Shuster

    Shuster Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Because they are the everything vehicle, I'd be lost without a truck!
     
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  12. Route67

    Route67 Tele-Meister

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    I’m looking for a 4x4 truck in good condition as well, but prices have gone through the roof, and when I look at higher mileage ones that aren’t very old, who knows how good it will be. The “cash for clunkers” incentive took a lot of older trucks off the road that weren’t so dependent on computer chips and much easier to maintain.
     
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  13. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Same.

    Except I found my 2017 TRD Sport 4wd, with 13k miles on it... for $10k below sticker price. I’ve had it almost a year now. Best truck I’ve ever owned... including Nissan, several Chevys, and a 1996 F150 which I put 240k miles on. The blue book value on this truck is still slightly more than I paid for it... which doesn’t matter because I plan to keep it forever.
     
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  14. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Meister

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    Any of your choices will be good if you're buying new. After maybe 80,000 miles, the Toyotas and Hondas start to look a lot better for the money, because of reliability and cost to own. I can't even consider a new vehicle, so the "frequency of repair" gap between these and any American car or truck is a major factor for me. We have a 95 F250 diesel farm truck that keeps running, but we've put as much into repairs as we did to buy it (used) in the first place. I'd go Toyota....
     
  15. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Holic

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    Why do used pickup trucks cost so dang much?

    Because nobody ever sells a used pickup truck. In other words, supply and demand. The types of people who buy pickup trucks are usually the types of people who drive them forever.

     
  16. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    I love pickups and have owned a few -- and I live in Montana, where it snows (yesterday), and I go fishing in remote places & haul bikes & tow a trailer. All of that with an Outback wagon with a 2-inch receiver hitch on the back. The hitch-mount bike rack is super-easy, and the raft on an aluminum trailer is pretty light, and the AWB and 8 inches of ground clearance gets me into some pretty rough places. Oh, yeah, and it gets 30 on the highway and 20 around town in the dead of winter and cost 22k brand-new.

    I'm just saying that given the cost to buy them & run them, a truck is a pretty extravagant way to get stuff done. Even if your boat is heavier than mine, you could match it up with an SUV of some kind and still come out ahead on price & handling. I say this as somebody who prices pickups every six months or so. So far I've managed to talk myself out of it . . .
     
  17. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Holic

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    I have a Taco, too. A 2008 with 135k on it. Looks like it's been through a war, but runs fine. I need to get 5 more years out of it (until my last kid is off the payroll). Before that I had 2 Dodge Dakotas in a row, which I liked even better, but Dodge stopped making them.
    It's true that used trucks in good shape are impossible to find. My advice to anyone looking for one is just to buy new, then drive it forever. Finance it if you have to. But if you buy new, you can drive it for 15 years, and you will more than get your money's worth. Once you pay it off, you still enjoy many, many years of use without a car payment. Plus you get to enjoy the best years of its life.
     
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  18. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    The truck market is insane. We're trying to predict what we'll need in retirement...so far, replacing the 2010 Outback with a newer model is still our top choice.

    Oh, I'm keeping the '69 C-10. Because 396... :D
     
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  19. jackinjax

    jackinjax Friend of Leo's

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    Image. Two of my neighbors have pickup trucks in their driveways and I've never seen them used as intended.
     
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  20. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Meister

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    So.... Mall-terrain vehicles?
     
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