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What’s the Best Used Truck to Buy?

Many shoppers looking to buy a truck are experiencing sticker shock when they step onto a dealership’s sales lot. You don’t have to try hard to find trucks that cost over $100,000. As a result, many shoppers are turning their eyes towards used trucks to get the most bang for their buck while shopping.

However, you don’t want to just buy any used truck. You want to buy one that will spend more time in your garage than in the repair shop.

Today, we’re looking at which used trucks are the best and worth considering while truck shopping. Let’s get started!

How to Find a Reliable Used Truck?

When searching for a reliable used truck, you’ll likely want to start with reliable truck brands. While there are various truck manufacturers, the most reliable are the major manufacturers like Ford, Toyota, Chevy, and Ram. However, you want to ensure that the vehicle has a clean record and hasn’t been in any accidents or floods.

Once a vehicle experiences an accident, it’s hard to trust that it’s as reliable as before.

To get the best deal, look for a used truck that has only been owned by one owner. You will hit the jackpot if you find a private sale on one of these trucks. This allows you to cut out the middle man and the car dealer. The seller will also get more for their vehicle while you pay less than at a dealership.

Pro Tip: Use these tips on How to Test Drive a Used Truck when hunting for your next vehicle.

Father and son sitting in Ford Ranger truck bed while hunting together.
Buying a used truck is a great way to save money, but still get a reliable vehicle.

Benefits of Buying a Used Truck 

You might want to consider buying a used truck for many reasons. Let’s look at the three biggest reasons you should look at used trucks instead of buying new ones.

Less Expensive

If you’ve walked through the sales lot of your favorite local dealer, a new truck can be extremely pricey. Trucks, like most vehicles, take a huge depreciation in the first few years. Some experts estimate that a vehicle can lose 50% of its value in the first two years.

Buying used can allow you to get a higher trim-level truck with all the bells and whistles but save a few bucks. You just might be able to get those leather seats, sunroof, or other fancy features, after all!

Lightly-Used Trucks Have Similar Quality to New Ones

Plenty of trucks are sitting in the used lots of many dealers with low miles. Many manufacturers also offer pre-owned certified programs for vehicles that meet specific criteria. If you’re looking at trucks a few years old, their performance and capabilities won’t likely differ significantly from new models. You might even find that some trim levels are more capable than others in a brand new model of the same truck.

Older Trucks Are More Durable

One of the biggest fears of many new truck owners is getting the first scratch or dent. The odds of finding a used truck in mint condition are slim to none. This means you can put the durability of your new-to-you truck to the test.

Many manufacturers are looking to save weight in their vehicles by using lighter metals whenever possible. This may help maximize fuel economy but can make the truck less durable. You want to know that your truck can take a beating when necessary.

White GMC truck parked outdoors
Buy a used truck to enjoy many years worth of adventures.

How Long Do Trucks Last?

How long a truck will last depends greatly on how you treat it. However, most gasoline trucks with proper maintenance can easily go for 10 years or 100,000 miles. It’s not uncommon for trucks to go 200,000 miles when properly maintained.

Diesel engines are much more efficient and longer-lasting. If you take care of a diesel engine, you can typically expect 500,000 to 800,000 miles. This is mainly due to their heavier and sturdier bodies that help them withstand abuse from the road.

Black truck parked in the snow
Used trucks are great for all weather and seasons.

5 Best Used Trucks You Should Invest In

You don’t want to buy just any used truck. You want one that works for you and will get the job done. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to buying a truck. Let’s look at five of the best used trucks worth the investment. 

#1 2019 Ford Ranger

About: Ford brought back the Ford Ranger, a compact truck that many missed, in 2019. Many drivers love this smaller truck’s drivability, handling, and performance. You get the quality and reliability of the Ford reputation. You also don’t have to worry about dealing with maneuvering a bulky truck in parking lots and crowded streets. It’s rough and tough enough for the job and is a great option for those looking for light-towing duties and carrying cargo now and then.

Features: The 2019 Ford Ranger has a 270-horsepower four-cylinder engine that’s turbocharged. It offers enough power to handle all types of driving conditions and styles. Once you get behind the wheel, you’ll notice Ford’s attention to detail in creating the cabin. That means all controls and buttons are easily read and conveniently located. It may not have the highest payload or towing capacity, but it can be an excellent option for many drivers.

Overall Rating: We give the 2019 Ford Ranger an 8.4/10. The firm suspension creates a smooth ride, and construction ensures the truck won’t fall apart in a few years. It’s worth checking out if you see one of these trucks sitting on your local dealership’s used lot.

#2 2018 GMC Sierra 1500

About: The 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 is the truck for those who plan to drive a lot of miles. It has a roomy and comfortable interior and is beefy enough to put up a fight with its competitors when it comes to towing. You’ll appreciate the smooth ride and comfortable interior as you drive mile after mile.

Features: Despite being a compact pickup, the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 has an impressive 12,500 pounds towing capacity. That’s plenty for hauling most boats, campers, and trailers for getting work done around the house. Several trim levels are available, but the Crew Cab versions provide the most room for passengers in the first and second-row seats. GMC began including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a rearview camera as standard features on their 2018 Sierras.

Overall Rating: We give the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 an 8.5/10. It’s a reliable and capable vehicle you can trust to get the job done when needed. While it might feel bulky, the increased weight adds to the smoothness of the ride. You could certainly make worse choices when shopping for a truck!

#3 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

About: Another fantastic option to consider when shopping for used trucks is the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Chevy has been making the Silverado since 1975 and has fine-tuned its construction to give drivers everything they desire in a truck. The company has a reputation for building rugged trucks, and the Silverado 1500 is no exception. Every year, it gives the other trucks in its class a run for their money regarding best in class. There’s a lot to love about the Silverado 1500!

Features: The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 comes in various engine options, cabin sizes, bed lengths, and trim packages. You’ll find trucks geared for towing, off-roading, or as everyday drivers. Chevy focused on creating a comfortable and easy-to-use infotainment system with touch-screen controls.

Overall Rating: We give the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 an 8.5/10. Chevy has done an incredible job improving the Silverado line of trucks and creating a smooth ride and luxurious feel. With varying levels of trim packages, you can find the perfect truck for you, no matter your budget.

#4 2019 Ford F-150

About: The Ford F-150 is one of the best-selling trucks on the market, and it’s easy to see why. If you’re looking for a used truck, the 2019 Ford F-150 and its impressive towing capabilities, comfort level, and impressive spec sheets are hard to overlook. Ford didn’t change much on the 2019 version compared to the 2018 version, but why fix something that’s not broken?

Features: Ford did a fantastic job with the 2019 F-150 in giving drivers plenty of choices. With six engine options, there’s a powertrain that will get almost any job done. Ford led the way by offering driver assistance and safety features like automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and forward-collision warning systems. As we said, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular trucks on the market.

Overall Rating: We give the 2019 Ford F-150 an 8.7/10. It’s incredibly reliable, and Ford has earned a reputation in the truck community for creating high-quality and capable vehicles. Whether driving to work or on an adventure, you’re sure to love being behind the wheel of this truck.

#5 2019 Nissan Titan

About: The 2019 Nissan Titan has everything drivers could need out of a truck. It may seem smaller compared to some of its competitors, but the acceleration and reliability are more than enough. The 2019 Nissan Titan has one of the best ratings from J.D. Power and should be one that you’re seriously considering while shopping for a used truck.

Features: While many of its competitors offer multiple options for engines, the 2019 Nissan Titan only comes available with a V8 engine that cranks out 390 horsepower. You’ll feel its power when getting up to speed on the interstate. Nissan didn’t just make it powerful but also comfortable. You’ll find a standard 7-inch touch display that makes it easy to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Those looking for a truck that’s a bit more off-road capable will want to look for the Pro-4X trim level.

Overall Rating: We give the 2019 Nissan Titan an 8.3/10. While it’s insanely reliable and comfortable, it’s not the most capable truck in its class. Even if you don’t plan to tow or carry large cargo regularly, it’s good to have the towing and payload capacity when needed.

Pro Tip: Unsure if you should go for a diesel or gas truck? Check out these 5 Reasons to Avoid a Gas Truck.

Is Getting a Used Truck Worth It?

Getting a used truck can be a great choice for those looking to get the most bang for their buck. Shoppers can get more truck for their money than if they shop a dealer’s used inventory. We would encourage you to consider buying a used truck in many instances. However, not every used truck is a good investment, and you could be investing in a money pit if you don’t know what to look for while shopping.

What’s the best used truck you’ve ever owned? Tell us in the comments!

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