Looking to Save on Gas Costs? Check Out the Cheap Truck Lot.
Trucks used to be notorious gas-guzzlers. Then came the recession and that period when gas prices topped $6 per gallon in some parts of the country. Demand soared for vehicles that delivered better efficiency.
Many of those super-fuel-efficient trucks are now at the cheap used truck dealership.
A Cheap Used Truck Probably Gets Great Mileage!
The US government announced stronger fuel efficiency standards in 2012 that require passenger vehicles, including light trucks like pickups, to meet a goal of 54.5 mpg by 2025. After the high prices seen in 2008 and 2009, light truck manufacturers were already on it by 2013.
While 2015 and 2016 trucks include impressive mileage, consumers don't have to pay new-truck prices to get similar mileage. In fact, mileage hasn't improved much in the past few years. If you're looking for fuel efficiency, it makes sense to buy a cheap used truck.
Here are fuel-efficient late-model, and cheap used trucks you'll find at just about any cheap truck lot dotting freeway exits:
- 2013 model year: The Nissan Frontier has the same mileage in its 2013 - 2016 models: 19 for city driving and 23 for highway. The 2013 Ford F-150 delivers 17/23, just a bit less than the current models. And the 2013 Ram numbers are still pretty good at 18/25.
- 2014: The 2014 Toyota Tacoma is a very competitive cheap truck with 21/25 mileage, same as its 2016 model. The Chevy Silverado 1500 delivers 16/23 and improved only a bit for later years.
- Hybrid trucks. Don't forget to ask about hybrids when you visit a cheap truck lot. Toyota, Ford, and Chevy all made hybrid trucks beginning in 2011.
Where to Buy an Used Truck
America has a love affair with pickup trucks. As reported by 24/7 Wall Street, the top three selling vehicles in the United States for 2015 were all trucks – the Ford F-Series, the Chevrolet Silverado and the Dodge Ram. While the rebounding housing market and the failing price of gas have significant roles in why the pickup truck topped the must-have list, a pick-up truck conveys the spirit of wide open spaces and of freedom – while still retaining some of the creature comforts of home. With the average new vehicle price in America hitting $33,560, however, not everyone can afford to buy a new truck. Despite this – and maybe because of the truck’s extreme popularity in this country – it is relatively easy to buy a decent truck on the secondhand market for less than $10,000 and as low as $5,000. Where you find your truck, however, matters. Here is a quick guide to help you find the cheap used truck of your dreams.
- Start by checking dealerships’ used inventories online. One of the most common misconceptions is that a cheap used truck can only be bought at used car lots. New car dealerships typically have recent trade-ins in their inventories that they would be more than happy to make a deal with you on instead of taking a loss selling them to a used car broker in order to clear selling space. These inventories are usually available online on car selling websites such as Autotrader.com or Cars.com or on the dealership’s website.
- Check the used car lots. Outside of the cheap used truck selection at a new car dealership, you can also go to a used car dealership. It is important to find a reputable dealer; some independent dealerships, however, do not have a dedicated service department, which may make repairs difficult to manage. However, independent car lots do not have the same pressure to clear selling space as dealerships, so the likelihood of finding a cheap truck here is greater. Many also offer no-haggle or negotiation-free pricing.
- Check for auto auctions in your area. Insurance companies, government agencies, rental companies and auto dealerships regularly unload their unwanted inventory at regional auto auctions, which are typically open to the public. A cheap truck found here typically are available at deep discounts, but may have serious mechanical and/or structural problems that the buyer will be responsible for fixing at his/her own expense.
- Check the classifieds. Craigslist, eBay Autos and your local newspaper’s classified ads will point you to private cheap trucks for sell.
- Ask a friend. Sometimes, the best source toward finding your dream vehicle is a friend, who may know of someone thinking of selling his truck for cheap, but who haven’t bothered to make up an ad yet.
When purchasing a used cheap truck, it is important to know the trade-in value of the truck you are buying, the accident and repair history of the vehicle and the reputation of the seller.
It is also important to ask questions, do your due diligence in researching your truck and have a reputable mechanic of your choice inspect the truck before agreeing to buy. Finally, if at any time you feel pressured to buy or otherwise uncomfortable, it is important to know that you can always walk away.
10 Best Cheap Used Trucks under $10,000
The United States is a truck culture. With the Ford F-150 being the best-selling vehicle in the United States for the last 38 years, Americans are clearly in love with the combination of towing capability, carrying capacity and off-road capabilities. With fuel prices the lowest in recent memory, consumers are moving away from small, fuel-economical vehicles towards larger, roomier vehicles. However, the average new car price at $33,560 – as of April 2015 – and with new pickups averaging $40,696, not everyone can afford to buy a new truck.
Fortunately, the high popularity of trucks in the United States mean that there are many cheap used trucks currently available for under $10,000. We have looked at the best cheap used trucks on the market today and have selected the top ten in regards to value and performance:
- 2005 Ford F-150 XLT (12 miles per gallon city, 16 miles per gallon highway; 4.6 L eight-cylinder, four-wheel drive four-speed automatic, 231 horsepower). With up to 11,000 pounds of towing capability and nearly 2,800 in cargo-carrying might, this is the cheap truck that defined what a best-selling car should be. However, the high popularity of the Ford F-150 has not done anything toward making them affordable; the 2005 model year used truck is the most recent Ford F-150 to average under $10,000.
- 2005 Dodge Dakota Four Door ST Quad Cab SB (14 miles per gallon city/20 miles per gallon highway; 3.7 L six-cylinders, six-speed manual rear wheel drive. 210 horsepower, heated seats). The first model of the Dodge Dakota’s third generation, this cheap truck offered the only V8 engine of its class. While the appraised model is a V6, this cheap used truck still offers a healthy blend of acceleration and carrying capacity.
- 2005 Ford Ranger Edge SuperCab (16 miles per gallon city/21 miles per gallon highway; 3.0 L six-cylinders five-speed manual, 143 horsepower, six-feet bed). One of the few compact cheap used trucks on this list, the small design of the Ford Ranger makes it a useful urban mover. A basic truck, it offered exceptional gas economy for a pickup and was a solid example of a simple, utilitarian carrier.
- 2002 Lincoln Blackwood (11 miles per gallon city, 15 miles per gallon highway; 5.5 L eight-cylinder, four-speed automatic rear-wheel drive, 300 horsepower). Some cheap used trucks are just too fascinating to ignore. This highly-reliable, extremely well-built used truck is functionally a Lincoln Navigator with a bed. With a plethora of luxury features, this is easily the most absurd cheap used truck you can hope or pray to run across.
- 2005 Nissan Titan SE King Cab 4WD (14 miles per gallon city/18 miles per gallon highway; 5.6 L eight-cylinder, five-speed automatic with overdrive, four-wheel drive, 305 horsepower). One of the first Japanese imports to match American trucks in size and power, this cheap used truck is a big, mean full-size measure of the Japanese automakers’ hope to crack the Ford F-150’s stranglehold on the American market.
- 2008 Mitsubishi Raider LS Extended Cab (14 miles per gallon city/20 miles per gallon highway; 3.7 L six-cylinder, four-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive, 210 horsepower). One of the toughest trucks available, this cheap used truck can be counted on to be around for the long haul. With a spacious interior, this truck is neither the fastest nor the strongest vehicle that may be available, but it may be the one most likely to start every time you need it.
- 2003 Toyota Tundra SR5 (16 miles per gallon city/19 miles per gallon highway; 3.4 L six-cylinder, four-speed automatic with overdrive, 190 horsepower). A full-sized Japanese import, this cheap used truck will not win top honors for mileage or acceleration, but has carrying capacity and towing power to spare.
- 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 (16 miles per gallon city/20 miles per gallon highway; 5.7 L eight-cylinder, six-speed manual, 345 horsepower). If you were to imagine a truck at work on a cattle ranch, you probably would imagine a Dodge Ram. The stereotypical “iron horse,” this cheap used truck is the truck of choice for every cowboy, and for good reason. This cheap truck will take just about anything you have to throw at it.
- 2007 Chevrolet Colorado (20 miles per gallon city/26 miles per gallon highway; 2.9 L four-cylinder, four-speed automatic, 185 horsepower). With more airbags than any other contemporary trucks – including a first-in-class roof-mounted side curtain airbag, this cheap used truck is one of the safest and most attractive trucks available. This cheap truck also offer great gas economy, which is a plus – considering that the Colorado is severely lacking in power or acceleration.
- 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 2WD (15 miles per gallon/19 miles per gallon highway; 4.8 L eight-cylinder, four-speed automatic, 195 horsepower). Unlike its little brother, the Silverado is a big, tough workhorse. While the cited used truck shows a weaker engine configuration, the Silverado has one of the largest array of engine, transmission and driveline configurations – meaning that you can find the perfect Silverado for you with a little luck.
Save Valuable Cash on Your Next Used Truck
It's time to pull the trigger on your next used vehicle, and you've narrowed it down to a cheap used truck. Cheap doesn't mean that you have to settle for a piece of junk, but you should search for the best deal for a used truck that will save you the most cash. There are more than 2.5 million trucks registered in the U.S., so finding one won't be hard. Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect cheap used truck for the perfect price.
Check Multiple Used Truck Listings
"I found it!" is what you might say after finding the first cheap used truck on the first website you checked. Take your time and remember there are probably dozens of listings in your area with a huge variety of inventory. Check all of them before deciding on a top three list of cheap used trucks you want to test drive.
Always Check the Truck's History
It looks good, it drives well, so it must be perfect, right? Not always. A cheap used truck may seem in good condition but there's no way to see prior damage or mistreatment by looks alone. Use a service like CarFax to check the cars history—service, repair, collisions, etc.—for just $7. It could wind up saving you hundreds or even thousands in the future.
Know the Truck's Market Value
Just because a cheap used truck is $5000 at several dealerships doesn't mean it's actually worth $5000. Services like AutoTempest or Kelley Blue Book are great ways to see a used truck's true value and that information is a powerful negotiating tool at the dealership.
Make the Right Offer
You're ready to buy! If you have a price in mind and have done your homework on the cheap used truck of your choice, don't budge. Get the price you want. Other tricks like buying at the end of the month or closing at the end of the day on Friday can also help persuade used truck salesmen to accept your offer.