Both new and used pickup trucks are hot commodities right now. While this type of vehicle has always been popular, more consumers have actually been buying them in the past few years. This increase in pickup sales is largely due to lower gas prices and an improved economy.

Of course, this is great news if you have a used pickup to sell. If it's in decent shape, you'll probably get a very good price for it. However, if you're in the market for a pre-owned pickup, finding affordable options may be challenging. You might find yourself wondering, "Where have all the cheap pickups gone?"

Data shows that Prices have Jumped for the Average Used Pickup

Recently, published findings from a study they conducted on pickup truck sales. In this study, they tracked the gap between the prices of used pickups and that of all other body styles. And the results are fairly striking. Their data shows that:

  • Average prices for used pickups are now 22% higher than they were four years ago.
  • The overall CarGuru Used Price Index is only up by 1% over the same time period.
  • The average price for a used pickup in January 2013 was $19,672. In January 2014, this index jumped to $22,231. Now, the average price hovers at around $23,978.
  • Shopper inquiries for used pickup trucks have increased by 36% when compared to requests for other types of used vehicles.

Pickups also seem to be retaining their value better than other vehicles. In this same study, three- and five-year price retention was compared among the top 50 most-shopped vehicle models. It was revealed that pickup trucks have dropped about 18% in value from MSRP over three years. Other vehicles, on average, experienced about a 25% drop in value.

So, if you're looking for an affordable used pickup, what should you do? First, you should focus on the less expensive models. Next, you'll want to research these pickups in order to make sure that you're getting a reasonably good price when you do decide to buy.

Used Pickup Trucks that are somewhat Affordable

If you look hard enough, you may be able to find used versions of the following three pickups for at or under $20,000. They are all full size and from the 2012 model year. Also, U.S. News & World Report ranked these vehicles as numbers one, two and three in their class when they first came out.

GMC Sierra

  • 1 – The GMC Sierra 1500
    The 2012 Sierra 1500 offers drivers a quiet and comfortable ride and a cabin constructed of high-quality materials. It also has a towing capacity of up to 10,700 lbs.
  • 2 – The Ram 1500
    Test drivers have praised the ride quality of the 2012 Ram 1500 as "excellent." This pickup also boasts an interior that is fairly luxurious and it also offers optional RamBox storage bins. It has a towing capacity of up to 10,450 lbs.
  • 3 – The Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    With the 2012 Silverado 1500, you'll get a balanced ride and comfortable front seats. And if you can find one in your price range with a V8 engine, you'll get plenty of power and torque. This truck has a towing capacity of up to 10,000 lbs.

Of course, before committing to a truck purchase, make sure that this type of vehicle really fits your driving needs. Unless you need hauling or towing capabilities, another type of vehicle might be worth considering. There are plenty of used options out there that will be much more affordable, both in terms of price and what you'll pay at the gas pump.

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