Used Pickup Trucks Hold Their Value


If you own a used pickup truck in decent shape, you might want to hold onto it for a little while, especially if you're contemplating selling it. It might be worth more money than you think. More accurately, your used pickup is not depreciating nearly as fast as other automobiles in the U.S.

According to Automotive News, used pickup trucks are holding their value better than just about any other vehicle segment. Experts from the NADA Guide, Kelly Blue Book and Black Book say a growing economy, an improved housing market and a relatively low supply of used pickups (less than 9 years old) in good shape contribute to the slower depreciation of pickups.

In fact, prices for a used pickup truck less than 9 years old have dropped only 1 or 2 percent during the last year, when a typical drop can be as much as 10 to 15 percent. That's good news if you want to sell your truck in the near future. Of course, there are other geographic and local-issue variables that can affect prices, but generally speaking, this news is good for those looking to sell.

As for those looking to buy a good used pickup, as new-truck sales continue to climb, we'd expect more late-model pickups to enter the marketplace as trade-ins, eventually reaching the tipping point that will cause used-truck prices to drop to more reasonable levels.

To find the latest pricing information for both new and used pickup trucks in your area, use the Search For a Truck feature at



well that figures. the ford truck photo posted above tells the whole story. the stupid thing broke down before the potential new owners could even drive it off the lot. notice the hood up. sheesh.

This article is accurate as long as you don't have an EgoBoost under the hood, if that's the case its resale value will be much less, especially in humid climates.

Timely article. I went camping with my family over the weekend. I had the truck camper on the Tundra and was pulling a small trailer with dirt bikes. As always, the Tundra worked like a champ.

After we got back, I kicked around the idea of getting a new 2013 Cummins Ram and looked up the value of my Tundra. I bought it new in 2008 for $25K (including TT&L etc.) and it still books for ~$20K. One thousand dollars a year in depreciation--not bad at all!

Used truck prices have been high for a while- after the glut of new trucks back in 2008-09 (cheapest trucks ever), especially small commercial buyers were buying up used trucks to reduce exposure to the economic climate. Inventories are still low.
I sold my 03 Tundra RC last year for 6 grand- 9 years old w/ 155k, it also lost only a thousand dollars a year... not too shabby.

The one thing about trucks is if you are going to have a third vehicle sitting in your driveway, a truck is a better choice because you can use it for many more things than a car. People will hold onto a truck longer than they will hold on to a car because of a truck's utility. Also truck styles do not change as often as cars so most people cannot determine the age of a truck.

It's amazing to see prices of 20+ year old pickups starting at $2,500 in good condition/average miles and reaching $8,000+ depending on model, options, desirable mods. 20+ y.o. Taurus', Accords and Camrys in good condition are what, $800 to $1,200 max?

But wait, there's an unnatural reason for this. Mexico ended the legal import of cars OLDER than 10 y.o, years ago. Importing newer than 10 y.o. was also stopped. Trucks are the exception. Any truck 10 to 25 y.o. is eligible for importation. This opened up the flood gates of used pickups on the Mexican market. Clean, low mileage and well equipped pickups are HIGHLY sought after in Mexico. Most of their's start out as stripper, base models and quickly beat to death on bad roads. Their pickups are actually put to hard work.

And it's the prices of 10+ y.o. pickups that drive up the resale value on newer pickups. But I'll bet they can't wait to get there hands on the latest round of premium trucks. Platinum? Longhorn? King Ranch? Raptor? These will appreciate considerably in the US. Their pickups only go to XLT, SLT, SLE, SR5 anyway, so these will be a commodity south of the border. Strangely, they still get Lincoln LT..

I paid $13k for my 05 F150 in 2009 - almost exactly like the one in the pic, same color even. I'd be surprised if I couldn't get that back whenever I decide to sell it. Auto manufacturers sold a lot of cars in 2005, so they flooded the market. It makes buying a car from that year cheap. The problem is cars from years later didn't sell at the same rate, so those prices didn't push the 05's down even further. It's all basic economics: supply and demand.

I don't suppose used pickups are holding value so well because of the high prices and ever-increasing prices of new pickups? Nah, couldn't be.

I'd say around here ford pretty much rules the roost. Our local ford dealer has had 3 used tundra's on there lot for proubly a yr and kept discounting them but they we're still on the lot so they finally took 2 of them to the auto auction to get rid of them.But even our local toyo dealer maybe keeps 2 new ones and thats about it.

Our local nissan dealer has had one new red chrome edition titan on its lot from mid 2012 and its still there. I keep going by and checking to see how low the price is and if it comes down another 2 grand I may just buy it.

The thing great about owning a Toyota is that the dealer will buy it back because the frame is rusting out and give you top book price toward another Toyota.

I have always believed this, that is why I almost never buy a used truck, cause if you shop right, and not need the very latest new truck, you can always get a better deal on a new truck than an older one! I have been looking at the new trucks, and the dealer I bought my Dakota at, has said he would be able to give me 7K for it in trade on a new Ram! and I paid 17K for it new 10yrs ago, so 1k a yr is not all that bad! so later this summer I will see what the Chevy dealer I have been doing business with will give me for it on the new Chevy ! and while he might not be able to give me what the Ram dealer will, I can always sell it myself, and there are a few guys around here that know the truck, and have told me they would give me the 7k, so yes everything says here makes sense!

Several years ago, trucks like the one in this picture were dirt cheap. Dealers couldn't give them away. My credit union wouldn't even loan 100% book value on anything with a V8. The truck market was in the dumps.

Now, the exact same trucks are selling for $15K or more with higher mileage on them. It's ridiculous how the truck market goes up and down like a yo-yo. And guess what? Gas costs more now than it did in 2007. So why is it now suddenly OK to drive 13 MPG rigs again?

It may be a sign of an improving economy but it also may be a sign of people fearful of an unstable economy. I bought used in 2008 because I was concerned about where things were heading. Another reason is stable fuel prices.
Big spikes in price and large V8 trucks collect dust.

I have to agree with Sandman4x4. If one is careful and patient, one can get new for the same price as a good used truck. I got 12k off and 3k for my old van. I couldn't get a good used truck for the less off a car lot.

Some trucks do depreciate less than others.

Used trucks hold their value no doubt. We sell tons of used trucks. They're the sedan for the modern day. Unless you own a Chevy after 99. You can't give those rust bucket junkers away they made up to 06 or so. The current ones are about as bad. Piss poor quality inside and out. Tundra's have bad resale too. Not Tacoma's though. Oddly enough, Dodge's from the 90's have great resale value now that most have had their transmissions fixed. They have a SFA and that's why in my experience. Dodge's from 02-08 or so are worthless. Ford's are always worth dough.

I can't believe the prices for used vehicles these days. Might as well buy new unless you are flexible on what you want, ready to pay with cash, and willing to look for a while. That said I wouldn't buy a truck unless I got at least 5,000 off msrp. If you buy at the right time you can sometimes get 10,000 off or more.

Pickup's have always had good resale at least compared to your average sedans. Even twenty year old beat up truck can find a home on a farm somewhere. Cars usually just go to the junk yard. Also many contractors will not plop down 40K on a truck that they will beat up, but they still want something halfway modern and reliable to the scoop up two and three year old trucks.

the read deals in Central Florida on dealer lots are Certified PreOwned Ram 1500s with the 4.7 V8. There are a lot of 2010-2011 Rams in SLT trim with the base V8 and a five speed in the 18-22K price range. If you don't need the towing power of a hemi that's a very nice ride for the money.

Used Silverados built in 2011 and 2012 should be soft as well. Expect to see nicely trimmed Extended Cab 1500s at a very sweet price.

@Mr knowitall
What is a '03 RC tundra?

chevy nissan the BEST.

@Denver MiKe: can't say much about Tauras, but a few monthes back I sold my 96 Camry coupe 2.2 5 speed for $1700. I didn't have to try either. I see alot of 92-96 Camrys. Although I did a bunch to it wen I first bought it, like timming belt, water pump, (preventive mantainace) and struts. It only had about 193,000 miles. Camrys tend to bring good cash, not sure if I would want the early v-6 Camry. They had oil issues.

Not sure I would want a Tauras with near that many miles, although my brother bought an SHO one for cheap because it had been hit in the ass, and it was a good car for 4-5 years.

I had Two Taurus's the Tranny went on both at 68K. My grandma has a 99 Taurus with only 66K but it still runs well.

Hey what about ford engine problem...??????? Ecoboost....

@TRX-4 Tom - You got a good price for that Camry, but it's not quite a 20 y.o. car. Used car prices were ridiculous following the Japan's tsunami, but are about normalized now. In a few years you'd be lucky to get $1,200 for a 20 y.o. Camry in good condition.

@TRX Tom--2000 to 2007 Taurus did not have the transmission issues that the previous Taurus had. They are good cars and run a long time but Camry and Accords hold their values better than any of the midsized cars. I see many 20+ year old Camrys and Accords still running where I live. As to trucks DM has got some valid points. You can sell as many used pickups in Mexico as you can drive or transport over the border. Living in Texas most of my life I am very familiar with the importation of used US vehicles into Mexico. Many Mexican laborers around where I live buy pickups and vans and drive them back to Mexico to sell at a sizeable profit.

@Lou--I agree with you on buying a new truck versus a late model used truck. Twice I have bought a new truck for not much more than it would cost me to buy a 2 or 3 year old truck that is similar. Since I keep my vehicles a long time it is better for me to buy new. This is not to say I would never buy used depending on the mileage and condition of the vehicle, but for not much more I will buy new.

I still believe that you have to consider the utility and practicality of a pickup adds additional value in the used car and truck market.

I am sick and tired of my sorry azz RAM truck breaking down and leaving me on the side of the road. Soon it will push me to my breaking point and I will just haul the dang thing off to the crusher instead of trying to sell it or trade it. Resale value sucks and I hate to pawn it off on someone. No more RAM or Chrysler products for me ever.

The article implies that your used truck needs to be in decent shape to keep its value.

Not true! People are not having any problems selling ratty trucks and getting what they want for them, within reason, because it is always much cheaper to fix up a ratty truck than it is to buy a brand new one. Replacement aftermarket parts for trucks are available online, cheap.

That's why used car dealers can still get top dollar for a used truck regardless of age, mileage or shape. Trucks that should have been crushed and recycled years ago are still running today because people still buy them and fix them up.

Best sellers in my area of Southern California are S-10/S-15, Canyon/Colorado Ranger, Dakota, F150, Silverado and RAM, in that order.

@Mark Lobato - You bring up a good point. Pickup trucks rarely face the crusher. Or salvage yard, for that matter. They have to be completely FUBAR'd before that happens. And trucks aren't so easily "totaled", technically speaking, compared to cars.

Say a truck does gets ruled as "Totaled" by the insurance adjuster (but not FUBAR'd), a shade-tree restorer or Mexico exporter will likely snap it up. Junkyards are only willing to pay 'scrap' (metal) value, so they'll likely get back on the road, somewhere.

Their high resale value comes down to 'supply vs demand'. And with the millions that sell every year, you'd think there would be a tremendous gluttony of used trucks on the US market.

We could be losing a up to a thousand trucks per day to Mexico. Legally and otherwise. Also, the #1, most stolen car is the F-series.

A lot of perfectly good pickups got destroyed during Cash for Clunkers. It got many quality used trucks and SUV's off the market as possible to force the peasants to purchase new vehicles they couldn't afford from the big-government/big-corporate unions. As a result, it drove up used prices. And it hurt the environment as the trucks themselves could not be recylcled after they stupidly destroyed the trucks in order to prevent them from being resold. This is just another example of a government program doing the exact opposite of what it was intended to do.

Whoops—'Cash for Clunkers' Actually Hurt the Environment

"A lot of perfectly good pickups got destroyed during Cash for Clunkers."

What mostly got destroyed, crushed and recycled were engines. Much of the body panels, radiators, wheels, brake rotors, doors, differentials, transmissions and other components were stripped off before the left-overs were sent to the crusher and shredder.

Several Mexican guys donated their time in return for body panels at the junk yard in my area. They hauled off tons of body panels and other salvageable parts for free.

One other guy I know went to the junk yard with a sawz-all and cut off a long-bed, frame and wheels from a pickup truck to make a trailer out of it. If I could find a wrecked Duallie, I would like to do that.

Others bought the glass and other misc parts off condemned trucks. Trucks are like pigs. Like pigs, we use every part and waste very little.

This is good for all truck owners, but it's a bit misleading. Manheim auction data reflects MOST trucks, but not all. Fleet/commercial vehicles typically drag down resale values for the "Big 3", and they're not often sold at pricey Manheim auctions. This means most F-150, GM, and Ram owners get a lower percentage than average because of all the fleet/commercial vehicles sold by those manufacturers.

Toyota owners, on the other hand, get more than average. Yet another great reason to buy a Tundra or Tacoma...

More on the Cash for Flunkers...

But all that vehicular destruction did more than create unnecessary waste for the environment. It also had some far-reaching economic effects.

According to a recent TriCities op-ed from Mike Smith of Ralph Smith Motors in Virginia, CARS created a dearth of used cars, artificially driving up prices. For those who needed an affordable car, but didn’t qualify for the program, this increase in price meant affordable transportation was well out of reach. It also meant used-car dealers, most of whom are independently owned, small-business owners, had little to no stock. According to Smith, 122 Virginia dealers chose not to renew their licenses after that year.

HT: Yahoo

Many of the clunkers I saw during Cash for Clunkers were on their last leg. Not to say that I dispute the article on the link, but there are a lot of older cars and trucks in my area that need to be junked.

In a period of about 2 years, my last truck's bluebook dropped $500. I can't complain!

Every truck I have ever owned, and I have owned quite a few, has held its value.

The key to a higher return on your old truck is to sell it as a private party. Don't trade it in. Just put it up for sale.

You'll be surprised at how many people will come out of the woodwork, knocking on your door, willing to buy your old truck. The first time I was surprised ,but no more.

I started doing this years ago and none of my trucks has ever had to wait long for a buyer. Usually within a day of the ad coming out.

The way I do it is to buy my new truck first, then park it next to my old truck in my drive-way. When a potential buyer sees that I already have a new truck they think I am motivated to sell.

Whatever I end up selling my old truck for is money in my pocket. I use Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds to get a good idea what my old truck is worth and then set my price accordingly.

Works every time. And every time I keep getting potential buyers long after the truck has been sold.

companies including mine know how tough ford trucks are and they want something there can rely on that s why you hardly ever see a toyota truck as a fleet vehicle. They cost too much with even higher repairs and don't hold up like the fords do.

So is anybody interested in my 2003 Dodge 2500 Laramie With all the bells and whistles you can think of.

pickup track for farming

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