Buying a pickup truck: How to choose Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make smarter financial decisions by providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content, by enabling you to conduct your own research and analyze information for free – so that you can make financial decisions with confidence. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers such as, but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The deals that are advertised on this site are from companies who pay us. This compensation may impact how and when products are featured on the site, such as such things as the sequence in which they appear within the listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. Our mortgage and home equity products, as well as other home lending products. However, this compensation will have no impact on the information we publish, or the reviews appear on this website. We do not contain the entire universe of businesses or financial offers that may be open to you. AleksandarNakic/Getty Images

4 min read Published 20th April, 2022

Written by Kellye Guinan. Written by personal and Business Finance contributor Kellye Guinan is an editor and writer on a freelance basis with more than five years’ experience in personal financial. She is also employed full-time at the local library where she helps the community to access information about financial literacy, in addition to other subjects. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are committed to helping readers feel confident to take control of their finances with concise, well-researched and precise facts that break down complex subjects into digestible pieces. The Bankrate promises

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We receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products and services or through you clicking specific links on our website. So, this compensation can affect the way, location and in what order products are displayed within the listing categories, unless it is prohibited by law for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other home loan products. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether or not a product is offered in the area you reside in or is within your personal credit score may also influence the way and place products are listed on this website. We strive to offer the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include information about each credit or financial products or services. Trucks are a complex thing. There are so many options, and the type and strength you need will depend entirely on how you intend to utilize your truck. Familiarize yourself with typical features such as powertrain axles, cab dimensions, and towing capacity prior to . Picking a pickup truck will require a lot of research however, preparation can result in a well-informed decision that will suit your needs and finances. What kind of horsepower do you need? A truck with greater horsepower, towing capacity , and torque will cost you more. It’s not all about price however, it is important to think about whether you really require an extremely powerful engine before spending thousands of dollars on it. Diesel engines that has greater power can also be a costly addition. A V6 or V8 engine is more common and offer more power, but there are four-cylinder engines for smaller load sizes. If your biggest haul is for groceries, consider an engine that is smaller and offers an automatic gas engine that is fuel efficient and has high efficiency. A smaller engine may be better for you and your budget. How much are you hauling? A midsize truck is your ideal choice if have plans to haul trailers or big boats. They’re less expensive and offer better performance than full-size models. Midsize trucks can handle smaller loads, not towing. Due to their lighter weight they also cost lower fuel costs. Which means if you have an item to haul, go for a full-size truck. There are heavy-duty and light duty options for almost every full-size model out there. Naturally, trucks meant for light-duty can carry less — but again they are more fuel efficiency because of their smaller weights. Remember: towing capacity as well as payload capacities are two different things. Towing is the amount your truck is able to carry behind it. Payload is the amount it can carry in its bed. Even if you aren’t planning to attach a high-quality horse trailer to the rear of your truck, make sure the payload of the trailer meets your requirements. Do you require two- or four-wheel drive? A truck with two-wheel drive will be more affordable and offer . You’ll have the option of choosing either rear- or front-wheel drive. Whichever one you pick is the best choice to be used on roads. A vehicle with four-wheel drive is more suited to going off road and in slippery or icy conditions like on a boat ramp. You get better traction, but your truck will not be as efficient in fuel. What size of space in the cab do you require? Cab space is probably one of the primary factors for casual truck drivers. And for most people, a crew cab is going to provide the most value, even if it does cost more. Single cab: Single cabs are the classic two-door look. They usually only accommodate three people, but they do often allow for larger beds. Extended cabs: Extended cabs are essentially an cab and a half. They have two doors and a limited amount of legroom in the back seat however, it’s a great option to choose between two cab alternatives. Crew Crew cabs are the four-door option that resembles the SUV or sedan. The size of a crew Cab is different depending on the model and trim however they’re the best choice if you have passengers in the back seat frequently. Fuel options You are not restricted to only gasoline or diesel. Companies such as Ford are committing to providing more options in the future. But these are still relatively new choices and may restrict your towing or payload capacity. Between diesel and gasoline the diesel engines are slightly more efficient in terms of fuel consumption. They also have more power for working trucks. But, they’re also expensive to buy and fuel. For casual drivers the gas engine might be best. They’re more flexible and lower cost than diesel or electric engines. They are more likely to be found on these on the bed , too. A short or long bed? You will find that the larger your bed, the smaller the taxicab. If a crew taxi is needed, you will likely be stuck with a shorter bed. And if you need that larger bed, you might need to opt for an extended or single taxicab. One thing you should consider is how often you will put things into the bed. If the truck you have is mostly for show — and there’s nothing wrong with it — a smaller bed is easier to maneuver and park. It’s likely to also provide more than enough space when you do need to carry something heavier. Are you buying new or used? New trucks offer you the possibility of being particular about the entirety of your ride as well as the exterior. This is certainly an investmentnew vehicles are costly — but if you have a trim, technology or other features you want to have then a new model is the best way to go. Conversely, a used truck is a cheaper option. It is possible to get the exact truck of your dreams however, you’ll avoid that depreciation. And if you only need something that is functional you can find older models on the market which are inexpensive and durable. It’s all about your budget and priorities. A brand new car may be costly, but it might be more efficient on fuel or feature more advanced technology. An older model truck might be less efficient in fuel however, the lower cost could make it cheaper to drive. Manual or automated? It’s an individual choice. There’s no huge variation in price between the two, although some trucks may come standard with either one or the other. For suburban or city motorists, automatic provides the most comfortable experience. But if you need more control while off-roading, manual transmission might suit you better. The next step is to have thought about the major aspects of owning a truck, look into the specific models and trims. These will help you get an idea of the cost you’ll be contemplating. If you are aware of this, you’ll be able get you in the cab at a reasonable interest rate.


Written by Business and personal financial writer Kellye Guinan is a freelance editor and writer with over 5 years experience working in the field of personal financial planning. She’s also employed full-time at the local library where she assists her community access information about financial literacy, as well as other topics. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances with concise, well-researched and well-organized information that breaks down complicated subjects into bite-sized pieces.

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