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Truck Buying Guide: What to Consider When Buying a Pickup Truck 

Truck Buying Guide: What to Consider When Buying a Pickup Truck
confident car salesman selling a car to middle aged customer

Are you thinking about buying a new truck? If so, there are a lot of things to consider before you make your decision. You need to think about your budget, your lifestyle, your needs, and your family’s needs. 

Furthermore, you need to make sure you’re investing in a reliable vehicle from a credible seller. But don’t let all of this overwhelm you. We’re here to help. 

Keep reading our truck buying guide for our top tips to make sure you get the absolute best pickup.

The Costs

First, you must consider the costs of buying a new truck. How much room do you have in your monthly budget for a new vehicle payment? Are you considering the additional costs?

For example, buying a truck includes:

  • Monthly loan payments (plus interest)
  • Fuel costs (which might be higher if you’re used to driving a smaller vehicle)
  • Monthly insurance costs
  • Yearly registration fees

Find a truck that you can comfortably afford. It’s easy to get excited about brand new, fully-loaded trucks. However, you must avoid putting yourself under financial strain.

Nearly 63% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, typically because they overextend themselves while financing purchases and borrowing money. Don’t become one of them. 

Your Loan Eligibility

Next, we recommend getting pre-approved for a car loan before beginning the truck shopping process. This is one of the most important steps in our truck buying guide. 

Getting pre-approved will let you know where you stand in terms of loan eligibility. It’s both disheartening and embarrassing to put an offer on a car only to find out you don’t qualify for the loan. Getting pre-approved will also give you an accurate idea of your available interest rates and what your monthly payments will look like. 

New Vs Used

When buying a new truck, you have the choice of buying new or used. There are pros and cons to each side of the coin. 

While a brand new car comes with the latest technology and features, it can lose as much as 30% of its value in the first year. New vehicles tend to lose an additional 10-15% each year after that.

A used car, on the other hand, will be much more affordable. However, when buying used, you assume a certain level of risk based on how the vehicle was maintained. 

Vehicle History

Fortunately, buying a used vehicle isn’t as risky as it used to be. One of the most important steps in our truck buying guide is to make sure you get your hands on a vehicle history report before purchasing a used truck.

A vehicle history report tracks a vehicle from the day it leaves the production line. It documents:

  • Previous owners
  • Locations of previous registrations
  • Commercial use history 
  • Factory recalls
  • Maintenance
  • Repairs
  • Accidents/damages
  • And more

If a seller is unable to provide you with a vehicle history report, find a different truck.


Depending on who you ask, the best truck brands vary greatly. However, there is substantial data out there about the most reliable trucks based on the manufacturer, model, and year. Do a little research to find out which truck will be most reliable for your needs, especially if you’re expecting high-performance.

For example, read through this Weeklymotor article to find out which Ford pickup trucks are the most reliable. You can find similar articles on Chevys, Dodges, Toyotas, and other major truck manufacturers. 

Time of Year

When’s the best time to buy a truck? According to multiple studies, it seems like buying a vehicle in October might be your best bet. 

Most car dealerships are beginning to receive new inventory in October. Next year’s models are coming off the line and being introduced to the market. 

Dealerships have more incentive during the end of the year to move inventory to clear up space for new models. This means prices will be lower and you’ll have more leverage for bargaining. 


Learning how to buy a truck that’s perfect for your needs is a vital component of our truck buying guide. What are you going to use the truck for? What demands are you going to place on it?

For example, if you’re planning on buying a new truck as a recreational vehicle for camping, hunting, fishing, towing campers, towing boats, and more, you need one that can handle that type of abuse. On the other hand, if you’re mainly going to be using the truck as a daily driver, you need one with respectable fuel economy. 

Fortunately, you can find pickups that offer performance and high gas mileage. Many trucks have engines that automatically adjust between four and eight cylinders, depending on the demands you’re placing on them.


When shopping for a new car, you cannot deny the importance of style and aesthetic appeal. You must like the vehicle you drive. The more you appreciate your new truck, the better you’ll care for it. 

For this reason, our truck buying guide places an emphasis on finding a pickup you find attractive. It could be the style of the truck, the color, or extra trim packages. 


Finding the right truck also means choosing a pickup that’s comfortable to drive. Is it smooth, quiet, and easy to maneuver?

If it’s a family vehicle, you must also think about how your spouse and children will feel riding as passengers. Is there enough legroom in the back? Should you get an extended cab or a crew cab?

Additionally, think about extra comfort, luxury, and entertainment features. This includes things like heated seats, dual side a/c and heating, audio quality, the infotainment unit, and more.

Seller Credibility

Finally, before buying a new truck, do a little research to find out more about the seller. If you’re working with a dealership, find online reviews from other consumers. 

Were customers treated with respect? Did the dealership have any hidden fees? Were the salesmen patient, helpful, and professional?

If you’re buying from a private seller, there will be a greater risk. There won’t be customer reviews or any governing entity holding the seller to his or her word. You may avoid dealership fees and find slightly lower prices, but there will be no safety net. 

Looking for More Than Our Truck Buying Guide?

As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when buying a truck. Take your time, plan your budget, take plenty of test drives, and follow our truck buying guide to make the best decision.

And if you’re looking for more advice on what to buy, how to save money, or how to market a business, take a look at some of our other articles while you’re here. Our blog is full of valuable information for consumers, homeowners, and business owners alike.

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