The Right Pickup: What to Consider Before Buying a New Truck

person buying a new truck at a dealership

Are you looking to buy a new truck? Are you having trouble deciding which one to buy? 

A new truck is a big investment, and therefore, you want to take your time when deciding which one to buy. And, beyond money, a truck can also have sentimental value to it. You want to choose a truck that you feel a connection to and that you see as reliable and dependable.

So, how do you know which truck to buy?

Read on to learn what to consider when buying a new truck. 


Usage is the number one thing you will want to consider when buying a truck. 

Do you plan on towing large boats with your truck? Do you plan on taking your truck to the mountains? Or, maybe you plan on just using your truck to drive around town? 

Whatever it is, make sure you think about usage ahead of time. This will not only determine the size of the truck you buy, but it will also determine the different features your truck needs. 

For example, if you plan to tow a lot of wood and other materials in the back of your truck, you’ll want to make sure you choose a truck with the appropriate bed length. If you choose a bed length that is too short, you’ll end up not being able to tow all of the materials that you need to. 

Usage will also determine what type of bed liner for your truck you need. If you plan to tow a lot of materials, you will definitely want to choose a heavy-duty bed liner. 

How you plan to use your truck will also determine the number of doors you need as well as the range of powertrains. 

For most people, the ideal truck is a 4-door vehicle in a mid-trim. 

Manual vs Automatic 

The vast majority of trucks today have automatic transmission. Not only do automatic trucks have impressive towing capabilities, but they are also well-suited for everyday driving. And, off-road driving in an automatic truck is incredibly easy. 

However, even though manual trucks have been disappearing in large numbers, there are certainly some decent ones still available on the market. 

The major advantage of manual trucks is that they tend to cost less. So if you’re on a tight budget, this may be the solution for you. 

Two-Wheel vs Four-Wheel Drive 

When choosing between two-wheel and four-wheel drive, you will want to go back to the question of how you plan to use your truck. 

For many people, a two-wheel drive truck will do just fine. Most two-wheelers are perfectly capable of towing and hauling large loads. 

But, if you plan to do a lot of off-roading, then you may want to consider a four-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive trucks are also very reliable in inclement weather, so if you live in a snowy part of the country, this may be the better option for you. 

However, keep in mind that four-wheel drive trucks do come at a premium price. They also come with added weight and complexity to the drivetrain. This can result in higher maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle as well as decreased fuel efficiency. 

Your Budget 

There’s pretty much no way around it: a truck is going to cost you a lot more money than a car. 

The average transaction price for a new pickup truck as of September 2018 is $48,377. This is a 48% boost from just ten years ago, and pickup trucks are now pricing out the average new vehicle buyer. 

Therefore, it’s very important to make sure you have your finances in order before you commit to buying a new truck. 

As a general rule of thumb, your truck should not be any more than 15 percent of your total take-home pay. Plus, keep in mind that to lower your monthly payments, you will need to make a sizeable down payment. 

Even if you do plan to finance your truck through a dealership, it’s a good idea to get pre-approval from your bank or credit union. This will help set a baseline for what you can afford as well as what you can expect in terms of interest rates. 

Lastly, don’t forget to keep maintenance and gas mileage in mind. Trucks are notorious gas hogs, with many trucks getting less than 20 miles per gallon for both the city and the highway. 

New vs Used  

Lastly, you’ll want to consider whether you should purchase a new truck or an old truck. 

While it will certainly take a lot more research to find the right used truck, used trucks can offer a tremendous value for their money when you compare them to new, fast-depreciating trucks. 

When buying a used truck (or any used vehicle for that matter), be sure to generate a vehicle history report. This will give you a glimpse of the truck’s past, and it will clue you in on any red flags you need to be aware of. 

You should also hire a trusted mechanic to conduct a thorough inspection of the vehicle. A mechanic will be able to give you an idea of the truck’s overall health, as well as any signs of premature wear and potential repairs. 

Buying a New Truck: Are You Ready to Find the Truck of Your Dreams? 

As you can see, there is a lot to keep in mind when buying a new truck. 

But, keeping all of these considerations in mind is necessary in order to find the truck of your dreams. 

If you have any questions about buying a new truck, please let us know in the comments below. And, be sure to check out these negotiating tips before you head to the dealership to buy your truck.