Which Used Pickups Are the Best Bargain?

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If you're in the market for an almost-new used pickup truck, wouldn't it be good to know where the best bargains exist? Yes, it would. Happily, a new study from automotive research firm iSeeCars.com provides that information. It collected data that shows which relatively new used pickups have depreciated the most, making them the best choices for those looking to get the most bang for their buck.

According to the survey, the average new vehicle depreciates 35 percent after three years of ownership, with some of the highest-depreciating vehicles losing between 46 and 52 percent of their value when driven off the lot. However, when looking at just pickup trucks, the much lower average is 23.3 percent.

"Below-average depreciation isn't surprising when you consider the increased demand for trucks," iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly said in a statement. "People tend to use their pickup trucks for work and hold onto them, which limits the supply in the secondary [used vehicle] marketplace."

The study analyzed more than 4.1 million car sales to identify models that have the greatest drop in value over a three-year period (when most leased vehicles re-enter the auto market).

Top Three Full-Size Used Pickup Deals

  1. Ram 1500: $41,803 average price, 33.2 percent drop
  2. Ford F-150: $48,685 average price, 32.4 percent drop
  3. GMC Sierra 1500: $44,284 average price, 26.7 percent drop

The used pickup with the lowest depreciation over a three-year period — drum roll please — is the Toyota Tacoma, losing only 18.2 percent of its value, with an average transaction price after three years of $26,329. The Toyota Tundra has a 22.2 percent depreciation rate (the lowest number of any full-size pickup) and an average transaction price of $32,834 after three years.

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Comments

More bad news for Frank and Chris....sorry guys!

Service techs I respect have insisted to me that new Toyotas are no big deal, but used Toyotas are the best deal in the market.

$41,000 for a used pickup truck.....

PUTC

you're correct dealers can't even give away used Ram 1500's cause nobody wants them

here's an example:
2018 used Ram 1500 SLT 4x4 for $26K
https://www.blueknobauto.com/used/Ram/2018-Ram-1500-duncansville+pa-f4456acf0a0e08f769c621c8356c951f.htm

Clearly you don’t know Ram trucks that well, which is okay, but that truck is hardly above a super cab Ford F-150 XL. Also my 2017 doesn’t even have 13K miles. Lastly, when visiting ram trucks.com, a 2018 configured truck to those specs from your link priced out under $38K brand new before discounts.

The worst deal on a used truck would apparently be a Toyota if the used prices are so inflated. Like other guys have mentioned, they have rust problems for us guys in the northwoods. Plus they still have engine and transmission issues that you might have to fix, and genuine Toyota parts have always seemed overpriced for the quality of what you get.

A lightly used Ram 1500 can be had for a great price. Just avoid the air ride suspension and make sure it doesn't have a MDS misfire issue. Used F-150's can be a good deal if you live near a dealer with lots of used fleet trucks. They pull resale values down so you can get more truck. Avoid the EB and look for a 5.0 that doesn't have the tick or knock.

Like other guys have mentioned, they have rust problems for us guys in the northwoods...Posted by: HD RamKing | Jun 18, 2018

@HD Ramking

I used to live up north. EVERYBODY had rust problems. A typical five year old truck would have tin worms all through it if it was driven on salted roads.

If it was only driven in the woods by the time it had 40k on the clock it was toast.

True but I would say that the big 3 at least have made design changes to keep rust at bay. They don't design the rockers like they used to, the bodies have special coatings that keep rock chips from exposing the steel, the rockers and cab corners are designed different, the frame's are not closed C style anymore so you don't have mud and salt collecting in the frame like you used to. Looking at the Tundra the bed is still being constructed with multiple layers of steel that trap and hold salt water, the frame is still a closed C style construction, the tailgates still seem to rust. I mean, even Ram has made changes to stop rust on the leading edge of the hood finally. The rockers don't seem to rust like they used to.

I love my GMC with its mighty 6.2L. It was priced at $45K....msrp $57K. Is the premium plus package so it has everything except a sunroof which I never use anyways.

The 2018 RAMs are a nice truck as well with a Hemi. If u still like the old big rig style instead of the new Durango look. You could easily steal one loaded for $40K. There are a few limiteds here in Midwest going for $39K.

Yeah. I can't say I'm impressed by the lack of focus on engineering and product development for trucks from Toyota, and even Nissan. Esp the Frontier, although I like the old Frontier, it's no longer competitive.

Yeah. I can't say I'm impressed by the lack of focus on engineering and product development for trucks from Toyota, and even Nissan. Esp the Frontier, although I like the old Frontier, it's no longer competitive.

I’ve owned many, many Toyota’s and have never had an engine or transmission issue. Not really sure where your data comes from there. As someone who lives in Eastern Canada, modern Toyotas have no more of a rust issue than any other truck and maybe even less so (other than frame recall from some time back which Toyota went good for). Typical biased and unfounded information. Before my current 17 Tundra, I owned 3 GMC Sierra Denalis (one 6.2 gas and two with the Duramax) and those were great trucks as well honestly (other than some emission issues with one of the diesels).

The Tundra (Platinum) cost me thousands less than even the gas Denali and I know when the time comes it will be worth more than it. Whatever the “reason” it works for me...

I’ve owned many, many Toyota’s and have never had an engine or transmission issue. Not really sure where your data comes from there. As someone who lives in Eastern Canada, modern Toyotas have no more of a rust issue than any other truck and maybe even less so (other than frame recall from some time back which Toyota went good for). Typical biased and unfounded information. Before my current 17 Tundra, I owned 3 GMC Sierra Denalis (one 6.2 gas and two with the Duramax) and those were great trucks as well honestly (other than some emission issues with one of the diesels).

The Tundra (Platinum) cost me thousands less than even the gas Denali and I know when the time comes it will be worth more than it. Whatever the “reason” it works for me...

I'm surprised my Ford 5.4 isn't on the list?? I know it's a slow ugly piece of sh*t but it's a Ford. C'mon PUTC.

the used vehicle market is filled up with models of vehicles everybody doesn't want or hate

use your common sense!
if the owner loves his vehicle he is going to keep it forever
NOT sell or trade it in

just like the Ram 1500 , it's a pig, nobody likes that truck!
so they trade it in for another brand of truck and the used market is overwhelmed with Ram 1500's

It's very-very-VERY rare to find a used F-150 with the 3.5 Eco-Boost, and the Toyota Tacoma and the Honda Ridgeline because EVERYONE LOVES THOSE TRUCKS

PEOPLE DON'T GET RID OF THE TRUCKS THEY LOVE
soooo they are rare to find for sale used

(the same rule applies to cars, suv's, and motorcycles - the truly good ones are hard to find for sale used)

If it was only driven in the woods by the time it had 40k on the clock it was toast.

umm, to ecoboost rules. there are tons of 3.5 eco boosts on the used market. I just did a quick search here on cars.com

350 trucks within 250 miles of me, also you have to realize that the 2.7liter sells in a higher volume than the 3.5 so there arn't as many of the 3.5's to begin with

https://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchresults.action/?cylCntId=28108&kw=3.5&localVehicles=true&mdId=21095&mkId=20015&page=1&perPage=20&rd=250&searchSource=SORT&showMore=false&sort=best-deal&zc=48060

https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/735943480/overview/

I have a Toyota Tacoma - had an '85 2RN for years. Great equipment, but I cannot endorse purchasing a vehicle from a race of people who brazenly destroy higher level creatures such as whales and porpoises. They are cheating whale-eaters.

Yeah. I can't say I'm impressed by the lack of focus on engineering and product development for trucks from Toyota, and even Nissan. Esp the Frontier, although I like the old Frontier, it's no longer competitive.
Posted by: papajim | Jun 18, 2018 5:37:22 PM


It seems like the leaders in Tokyo don't know how to design a fullsize truck that would be competitive. I read that Mike Sweers was transferred to Japan to work with his Japanese counterparts to help make sure the next global truck platform is better designed to be competitive here in the US.

The Frontier just needs new interior and exterior styling. The engine could use some updating for better fuel economy.

@Brick yet the non competitive Toyota trucks retain value more than the bells and whistles big 3 trucks...

People want vehicles that last, a 12" screen or fancy features are nice when you are sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.

The Frontier just needs new interior and exterior styling. The engine could use some updating for better fuel economy.
Posted by: Brick | Jun 19, 2018

@Brick

I love the vintage Frontier but you cannot be thinking clearly. The Frontier still sells a pair of five-speed trans (manual and auto) in their truck as the only option.

The V-6 is a strong engine for a truck that size but will be in NO way competitive with the new Ranger powertrain. GM offers buyers a diesel 8-speed (am I right?) and RAM is supposedly returning to the midsize space fairly soon.

Some interior upgrades will only appeal to buyers in the low end of the price range. Nissan wants to play with the rest of the boys up near $40k. More is needed.

Here come all of the Toyota haters, like the liberals they are...

Data does not lie, Toyota is the best on retention of value!

@ Oxi
So today you agree with this "leftist liberal media site"? You must be bipolar..

If you looking for a real bargain it would be a used 4 door midsize sedan. The market for cars has been downhill. Even the worst depreciating trucks still maintain a good portion of their value. I would disagree about Toyota being a better value used than new especially a late model. It is not much more to buy a new Tacoma than one a couple of years old and you get the warranty on the new one. I tend to buy new anyway because I tend to keep my vehicles a long time. That is not to say I would never buy a used vehicle but my experience has been for not much more for a new truck than a used one which tend to have a lot of miles on them.

@Jeff S

If you want a bargain, why would you buy an asset that's declining in value?

"Best" value in used also means "worst" resale. For me resale is largely irrelevant as I keep vehicles for usually well over 7 years. But for my old school friends and family who still trade it every 2 to 4 its "ALL" about the resale...

Unless you happen to be throwing millions of dollars around, buy what you like and let the chips fall where they may.

@papajim--If you don't need a truck or if you need an additional vehicle a slightly used midsize sedan is a good value. I did not say it was for everyone--buy what you like and need. If you plan on keeping a vehicle for a long time then depreciation is not a big factor. If you are keeping a vehicle 2 to 5 years then yes you need to consider depreciation. I would hardly call a vehicle an asset or an investment it is more like a necessity. Most vehicles depreciate unless you are collecting old muscle cars.

@Jeff S

Wrong answer.

Right answer?

Lease. Businesses lease assets that decline in value and let the lessor take the loss. You never want to intentionally own declining assets unless you like losing money.

Lease, Yes. Own No.

@papajim--Leasing is better for businesses than individuals unless the individual wants a new vehicle every few years. If you do a lot of driving leasing is not so good because of mileage penalities. I myself might consider leasing in the future since my wife and I don't put a lot of miles on a vehicle. I keep my vehicles so long that I more than get my moneys worth out of them. In the future I might not want to keep them as long and then I might look at leasing a new vehicle. On the other hand maybe a vehicle that has been returned from a lease could be a good value if it has been well maintained and the miles are not too high. Buying any vehicle depends on what I want and I would buy used if I found a late model with low miles that has been well maintained for less. I bought my Mitsubishi when it was 2 years old at half the cost of a new one with only 30k miles--I had it for 14 years and had 200k miles on the odometer. An asset to me would be securities or land.

Leasing is better for businesses than individuals unless the individual wants a new vehicle every few years.

@Jeff S

Says who?

Dumb statement. Owning assets that decline in value sucks regardless of it's a business (or personal). This is the key reason for leasing. Let the leasing company eat the loss.

Leasing isn't just for cars. Until taxes are cut way more than current levels (or losses become more deductible), leasing will make a lot of sense if you anticipate that your equipment or autos/trucks will fall in value.

I did not invent this. It's business 101

@papajim--You obviously did not read my above comments because you did not see that I said that leasing is better for most businesses because vehicles are a depreciating asset. For most individuals not businesses leasing is not necessarily the best choice. If you put a lot of miles on a vehicle then the penalties for exceeding the maximum miles per year can cost a lot in penalties and negate any savings you would have. I know this because several years ago my wife and I looked at new cars and the penalties averaging 20k miles apiece made leasing costly. If you do not drive a lot say 10k or less then yes you can get a lease on a new vehicle that is less than buying new especially if you tend to keep a vehicle no longer than the life of the lease. A better deal is if you can get a low or no interest loan on a new vehicle after negotiating a lower price. You cannot generalize that leasing is better for everyone. Much better to compute the numbers of buying versus leasing and factor in how many miles you drive and year and how long you plan on keeping that vehicle. In the past leasing has not been a viable option for me but now with the amount of miles my wife and I drive per year we will take a closer look at it especially since we average about 5k to 7k miles per year on a vehicle. At 20k miles a year leasing was not an option but now it could be. Possibly a better option for us would be a 2 or 3 year vehicle that is just come off a lease. I don't think it is wise to just look at one option it is better to look at every option available and determine what is best for you.

As for your argument about value falling for a vehicle this has not been a factor for me in the past since I have kept my vehicles above 10 years. Most vehicles after 10 years either at their lowest value or they are close to it. I would say my 99 S-10 would be at its lowest value and will not depreciate a lot more unless its condition deteriorates considerably. You cannot make generalizations for everyone.

@papajim--Do you lease your Silverado or did you buy it? If you bought it then why did you not take your own advice and lease? Previously you did say your wife leased a BMW crossover if I am not mistaken. Maybe it is better for your wife to lease than it is for you. I gave you the reasons why leasing does not work for everyone. Each of us has a different situation and depending on what it is we have to determine what works the best for us. Not trying to argue just stating that this is something to consider.

@Jeff S

please define terms:

capex
opex

It's ok if you look it up on the web

Here you go papajim--

Capital Expenditures
Capital expenditures are the amounts that companies use to purchase major physical goods or services that will be used for more than one year. For example, a company might have capital expenditures to increase or improve its fixed assets. Fixed assets are treated as noncurrent assets from an accounting standpoint, meaning they won't be consumed in the first year.

Capital expenditures might include:

Plant and equipment purchases
Building expansion and improvements
Hardware purchases, such as computers
Vehicles to transport goods
The type of industry a company is involved in largely determines the nature of its capital expenditures. The asset purchased may be a new asset or something that improves the productive life of a previously purchased asset.

The capital expenditure is recorded as an asset on the balance sheet under the section "property, plant & equipment." However, it's also recorded on the cash flow statement under "investing activities," since it's a cash outlay for that accounting period.


Once the asset is being used, it's depreciated over time to spread the cost of the asset over its useful life. In other words: Each year, a part of the fixed asset is being used up. Depreciation represents the amount of wear and tear on the fixed asset, and the amount of depreciation for each year can be used as a tax deduction. In general, capital expenses are most often depreciated over a five to 10-year period, but may be depreciated over more than two decades in the case of real estate. (Of course, situations vary: A tax advisor can advise on how the IRS calculates depreciation more specifically.)

@papajim--Many years ago I prepared financial statements for an oil drilling company. I understand what you are saying but I still say that the decision to buy or lease for an individual consumer and not a business is based on their own individual situation. Again leasing does not work for every individual. My own rule is if you cannot afford to buy something with you own funds then maybe you should not buy or lease it. You can also buy or lease more than you can afford. I would much rather have a good reliable vehicle that is paid for than to take on extra debt. If it is financially advantageous for me to lease then I will but that is a decision that I would make based on how long I plan to keep a vehicle, how many miles I will put on the said vehicle, and what type of deal I can get. My decisions are a little different than businesses because I am not using the asset to generate revenue nor am I using it for business.

A tax advisor can advise on how the IRS calculates depreciation more specifically...Posted by: Jeff S | Jun 21, 2018

@Jeff S

I laughed when I read the above quote from your reply! Three different advisors will tell you 3 different tactics for making such a calculation (depreciation) for federal income tax purposes.

Unless you plan to make the entire deduction over the course of your company's single 12 month tax year, you will have to follow a complex routine to determine the correct tax owed over the years you hope to spread the deduction across.

It's treated as a "red flag."

If the IRS rejects your preparer's calculation, you'll be forced to file a revised return and maybe even accept penalties.

A better approach is making the capital expense an "operating" expense via leasing. General Electric turned this into an art form back when Jack Welch was the CEO/Chairman there.

Leasing is better for managing the expensing of these investments.

@papajim--Most individuals are not going to go thru making this decision. I am not self-employed nor do I work for a business where I depreciate my vehicles. Do you depreciate your vehicles? Leasing does not work for most of us on this site who do not own a business. See above for Clint's comment " For me resale is largely irrelevant as I keep vehicles for usually well over 7 years. But for my old school friends and family who still trade it every 2 to 4 its "ALL" about the resale..." My situation is similar to Clint's and I am willing to bet that most of the readers on this site are similar. You still haven't answered my question do you lease your Silverado?

Jeff, I'm correct on the principle we're discussing. My question to you was

"If you want a bargain, why would you buy an asset that's declining in value?"

Virtually ALL passenger cars decline in value. Agree? Leasing passes the loss to a 3rd party, the leasing company. Whether leasing makes you happy or not is irrelevant to the rest of us. You should chose the tactics that work best for you.

Just like most of the guys on this site, papajim is very self righteous

@Ken--papajim has beat this argument to death. This began with me stating that 4 door sedan prices have fallen dramatically and anyone that wants one this is a good time to buy one. If you don't want a sedan fine but for those who want one and want to buy one then it is a good time. I didn't initially bring up leasing it was papajim. Papajim never answered me as to if he leased his truck or bought it. My guess is since he bought it used he probably bought it. I don't really care but bringing up a conversation about business leasing vehicles is not what the initial conversation was about. I doubt most of the com-mentors are that interested in business leasing especially since most use their vehicles for personal use.

@Jeff S

the principle is the SAME. It does not matter if you're talking about personal assets or business assets. The same.

If you must own (declining) assets like rolling stock, why not lease them and get the opex tax benefit and the benefit of letting the leasing company take the hit for the lower resale value of the asset?

Rolling stock is only one example. there are many

@Ken

when you're right, who cares what others think?

@papajim--There is no tax benefit for individuals leasing a vehicle. The leasing company is not losing anything because the depreciation is the cost that is written against the lease income.. Leasing companies are in the business to make money so any depreciation is a business cost. If you file a Schedule C then yes an individual can take mileage or depreciation but only for the amount of use related to business. For individuals not owing their own business there are no tax benefits. You have not answered my question, did you buy or lease your Silverado? If you bought it then why did you not lease? If you leased then why did you lease your truck? Everyone has their own answer and they are not wrong. Unless you just have to have a new vehicle every few years then leasing does not make sense for an individual who does not own a business or is not using a vehicle for business purposes. How can leasing be any less expensive than keeping a vehicle for 10 years assuming that the vehicle has regular maintenance?

@papajim--Leasing benefits dealers the most because the customer at the end of the lease will come back for another new vehicle and the profit margin on selling returned lease vehicles is usually greater than a new vehicle. Dealers have a huge incentive to encourage the customer to lease especially when the dealer gets incentives to lease.

Jeff you are unable to grasp the simplicity of leasing.

I drive too many miles annually to (and work my trucks too hard) to get the best from vehicle leasing.

I leased my wife's luxury car because she rarely drives more than 5 k miles per year and she could afford a BMW. She walks away from the depreciation and has the freedom to exercise her options at the end of the lease period.

Some whose age is a factor gets another benefit---if your health fails or your eyesight is no longer good enough to drive, you retire the lease at the end of the period and you don't have to screw around with selling a car that has declined in value.

@papajim--"An expense must be directly related to your business to be deductible as a business operating expense. This means that you cannot deduct personal expenses. For example, the cost of a personal computer is a deductible operating expense only if you use the computer for business purposes; it is not deductible if you use it to pay personal bills or play computer games. If you buy something for both personal and business use, you can deduct only the business portion of the expense. For example, if you buy a cellular phone and use it half of the time for business calls and half of the time for personal calls, you can deduct only half of the cost of the phone as a business expense.

A business expense for one person can be a personal expense for another, and vice versa. For example, a professional screenwriter could probably deduct the cost of going to movies—he needs to see movies for his screenwriting business. But a salesperson could not deduct this type of expense."

Jeff S cannot grasp the benefit of allowing the leasing company to manage your car's depreciation.

You began this riff talking about buying sedans because they are much less popular (and are declining in value?).

I bet you could get a killer deal on a leased Ford Taurus these days (or an Impala). Just as long as you're not expecting to roll up too many miles.

@papajim--I completely understand the concept of leasing. Your above comments confirm what I have stated previously. If you drive too many miles then yes leasing is not for you. If your wife leases a vehicle and only drives 5k miles a year and wants and can afford a luxury vehicle then yes leasing is a viable option. Agree with you on aging especially not having to mess with selling a car that is declining in value--my days of selling a car myself are gone. I would rather give an old vehicle away then mess with someone coming to my house. You stated the reasons for leasing that I had previously stated and I completely agree with them. For most people buying and keeping a vehicle long term is a better option.

As for buying a used truck it would depend on the price, mileage, and if it is a truck I want. Since I bought my Mitsubishi used and drove it for 14 years then the decision to buy it was a good decision. I would always compare a new vehicle to a used one or certified one. When I was buying my S-10 I got it for not much more than a used truck and at the time I was looking most of the used trucks had very high miles and were not that much less. If I knew the person who owned the truck and they were very particular about the maintenance then I would definitely consider buying that truck if it is what I wanted. I take meticulous care of my vehicles and if I were to find a vehicle that had the same care it would definitely be worth considering. My Mitsubishi was like that and it was only 2 years old with 30k miles with not even a scratch in the bed. I negotiated the Mitsubishi down to $3.550 which in 1987 was a very good price.

Jeff S doesn't like being wrong. lol. Try making your point in a few sentences and thinking clearly next time.



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