TodayApril 15, 2022

What to Know Before Buying Your First Pickup Truck

Things to Consider When Buying a Pickup Truck

When you feel like driving something with a little more oomph and a bit more practicality to it, the pickup truck is one of those tried and true choices that’s hard not to recommend. Hopping in the truck and setting off on the bridges of Madison County journey is relaxing in a way no other trip can take you. However, it’s important to know that driving and owning a pickup truck is somewhat different from any other vehicle you might have had in the past. You want to make sure you know what you’re getting and that you’re getting it for the right reasons. Here are a few things to consider before buying any pickup truck.

Know what technology and functionality you need

There are a lot of different reasons to buy a pickup truck. However, there are just as many trucks to go with each of those purposes, as well. For that reason, it’s a good idea to know the functionality and technology you’re going to use it for and what stats you should pay attention to when you’re choosing one. For instance, if you’re using it to haul lumber, hay, or machinery, you need to make sure it has the right towing capacity. If you’re using the truck to take long journeys with a camper to conveniently and comfortably traverse the wild, then you will want to make sure you get a truck with good gas mileage such as the Silverado.

Make sure you have the space to park

Another of the considerations you need to make when buying a truck is that of its size. Size can be a factor separate from what it can do, but usually, one influences the other. Smaller trucks tend not to have as high a towing capacity, for instance. That said, if you live or want to drive it in a more populated area, then you need to know what parking spaces can fit your vehicle. The larger pickup trucks out there need a lot of space to themselves, which can make commuting in some of them something of a challenge for their drivers.

If buying used, know what. you are buying

If you’re buying a used pickup truck, it’s important to know that what you’re buying is significantly more reliable and likely to last longer than most regular trucks. There are a lot of older and not-as-well-maintained trucks on the market at any time. Having a mechanic you can consult before making your decision is essential, so take any used truck you’re looking at to a truck repair service. Let them tell you what’s wrong with it, if anything, and how much it will take to get it into the best possible condition. That way, you can get an idea of what the real price will be by the time you’ve got it ready for the road.

Know all the fees involved in owning a truck

If you’re buying a larger truck, then you might need to look at your local authority to see if there are any special provisions for buying or operating it. For instance, some places might have an additional fee for even light-duty pickup trucks if they are considered by the state to be a commercial vehicle. Usually, the price will go up as the vehicle’s size and weight do, as well. Otherwise, you might also need to check if there are any regulations around the vehicle. For instance, you may need an additional license to be able to drive heavy-duty pickup trucks. Not applying for and getting your license could mean that you’re committing a crime by driving it.

Know what extras you need

A savvy buyer knows when to avoid getting roped into paying extra for a bunch of bells and whistles that they’re not going to need. However, some of those custom additions can add a world of practicality when it comes to a pickup truck. Again, it all depends on your individual needs and what, specifically, you want from your truck. However, things like a hardtop canopy, LED lighting, arch kits, and a tailgate lift can be a valuable addition to just about any truck. Just make sure you do your research on the costs, and, specifically, you want to know if you can get them cheaper than a dealer might be offering them to you.

If you’ve read the above and a pickup truck still sounds like the right pick for you, then, by all means, go ahead and get one. Just make sure you’re getting the right truck to suit your needs. Not all trucks are built the same.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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