Which Used Pickups Offer the Best Year-End Deals?

Nissan 3 II

By Nick Kurczewski

The good news for used-truck shoppers is that the beginning of the new year is an ideal time for money-saving bargains. But these same truck buyers had better take note, because finding a sweet deal on hot-selling used pickup trucks can require plenty of patience.

Related: Which Pickups Offer the Best CPO Value in America for 2019?

That's according to the results of a recent survey conducted by automotive data and research firm iSeeCars.com. In the study, which analyzed more than 2.4 million used vehicles for sale in December 2018, the marketplace for used sedans and SUVs — all ranging from 1 to 5 years old — offered a higher percentage of available deals, at least compared to the number of deals offered on trucks.

Luckily, this doesn't mean you're out of luck when it comes to used-truck shopping.

"Due to their high demand, pickup trucks are the vehicles with the lowest percentage of deals," explained iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly in the study's results. "However, deals do exist on certain models and can be found if the shopper is willing to look around."

1 Ford F-150 CNG II

The iSeeCars report found buyers looking at a used Nissan Frontier, Ford F-150 and GMC Sierra 1500 had an above-average chance of finding a money-saving deal. The long-running and soon-to-be-updated Frontier led the truck pack with 9.7 percent more deals than average. On sale in basically the same format for more than a decade now, the next-generation Frontier could debut at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show in February. Notable for its low starting price — in base King Cab S trim and rear-wheel-drive format, the 2019 Frontier rings in at roughly $20,000 — this no-frills Nissan is a solid choice for anyone looking for a low-cost work truck.

Next up was America's best-selling truck for more than four decades, the Ford F-150, which was found to have 5.6 percent more deals than average. It was followed by the GMC Sierra 1500 at 2.6 percent.

Related: Which Pickups Depreciate the Least?

As defined by iSeeCars, a "deal" constitutes a cost savings of at least 5 percent off a vehicle's fair market value. To tabulate the more than 2 million vehicles in the survey, the percentage of cars or trucks that were considered deals had to be compared to the overall average of all available deals.

A spokesperson for iSeeCars told PickupTrucks.com differences could be attributable to pickup truck owners holding onto their vehicle for longer periods of time. This would limit the amount of 1-to-5-year-old used trucks available and make truck sellers less willing to offer a sizable discount on the asking price.

On the flipside to trucks offering a greater percentage of deals were models with notably less chance of delivering a bargain. Of these, the iSeeCars survey found the Toyota Tundra led the way by having 10.9 percent fewer deals than average.

Like the Nissan Frontier, the full-size Tundra has been around the block and hasn't received a major overhaul in years. In the case of the Toyota, however, this doesn't translate into a bevy of bargains being offered on the Tundra: A strong record for long-term reliability most certainly helps maintain this Toyota truck's resale value.

Following in its big brother's footsteps, the Toyota Tacoma registered 8.1 percent fewer deals than average. Next in line, both the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (3.6 percent fewer deals) and Ram 1500 (0.6 percent) could also pose challenges to bargain-hunting used-truck buyers.

Cars.com photos by Christian Lantry, Evan Sears

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Comments

Ford F-150 because there're so many flooding the market, and GMC Sierra, because they're usually leased and returned.

With the amount of cash being put on the hoods of new trucks.

I ask the question, why would anyone buy a used truck? Full warranty and you will be the one putting on miles and making sure it's been taken care of through proper maintenance.

When will the Tundra be updated/redesigned? Will we see the next generation Tundra at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show?

Thank you

New Tundra 2021 model year.

I ask the question, why would anyone buy a used truck?
Posted by: TNTGMC | Jan 24, 2019

Considering how AWFUL depreciation is on (most)! If I can buy a new (big 3) half ton crew cab truck for 15-20k under MSRP why buy new?

Considering most truck offers now are anywhere from $12 to $15 k off. You are saving somwhere in the range of $5K.

I'll take the full warranty, brand new tires, most come with 1 or 2 year free service. That $5k your saving will be eaten up pretty quick. But to each is own

People used to believe that buying 'new' was an assurance of not getting burned. Yeah right. They would say that buying 'used' was buying somebody else's troubles. Perhaps.

Trucks and big sedans/SUVs today are so complex that a truck 10-20k miles on the odometer has just been shaken-down. Apart from some actual wear on the tires, a year old GMC or RAM is barely broken in.

Just depends on the truck and the deal. If I can get a pre owned certified with low miles for substantially less then I would consider it but for 1k to 2k I would rather buy new. I would add late model Colorados retaining a large portion of their value. I have noticed that some 1 to 2 year old models either sell for close to the same amount as a brand new one. I would do my. research first because you might find a new or used unicorn that you are willing to accept for less. Again researching on the internet and not being in a hurry to buy.

papajerk:

I never said Ford invented CGI. I said they were the first to introduce it to the truck industry.

I'mo find you a ladder so you can climb down from your lifelong tree fort and acclimate to real life..

FAKE redbloodedxy

I have noticed that some 1 to 2 year old models either sell for close to the same amount as a brand new one

@Jeff

How in the world do you know what these models sell for? Negotiations are private and individual.

Prices are based on the packages and incentives. Do you really keep up on all that? Ditto for used trucks. Condition and mileage determines price, not some online price listing that somebody pulled out of his ***

I'm calling bullsh*t on you.

True car does a great job of telling you what vehicles in your area are selling for. Also, the internet allows for people to search a plethora of dealerships in their areas and their vehicles at a click of a button, and you can see what each vehicle has on their website. (How they are equipped)

When I bought my Sierra, I literally did it all over the phone, told them the other stock number of truck at the competing dealership, and they both went to war. The one who wanted to make the deal got my business. And I bought my brand new fully loaded SLT truck with a 6.2L for $3500 more than a pre-owned 5.3L on the lot with just under 20k miles. Common sense anyone, please!

brand new fully loaded SLT truck with a 6.2L

@TNTGMC

you said it all right there.

That vehicle is not representative of the average car/truck sold at a Ford or Chevy dealership. It's a one-percenter

@ papajim--There is cars.com. Research for yourself. True I don't know exactly what the used vehicles sell for but if you look at a 2017 Colorado price and compare it to a 2019 Colorado with exactly the same equipment the difference is about 2k. For 2k I would buy the new Colorado. I doubt the used or preowned Colorado is going to sell for thousands less than the listed price. On the other hand the new ones have more room for negotiation. Yes the higher mileage ones sell for less but not enough less to make up for the mileage. I am not going to give you the links and the individual postings you can l loo yourself. I usually check these prices weekly so if you believe cars.com bull then I guess this site is bull. Can you show me any incentives on used and preowned trucks? New ones yes. How much do you expect to get off of a used 2016 to 2018 Colorado? Do you expect the dealer or individual to take an offer for 4k to 6k less than blue book? I doubt they would even take 2k off but I would ask for it anyway.

@TNTGMC --Yes those are good sites as well. That is my point I have been looking at these sites and I know that the price difference on certain trucks as a Colorado or Tacoma is not that much extra to buy a 2019 than a 2016 to 2018. Yes you can get a larger discount on a higher mileage one but just to assume that it is going to be a huge difference is not correct. For 2k I would buy a new truck over a used one a certified pre owned. Maybe papajim considers that a significant difference but on a vehicle that sells for 20k to 40k you are talking about saving 10 to 20 percent which is not really that much.

"Oh it's just three or four or eight or ten thousand dollars difference, who gives a flying f**k"

Then the same guys complain that trucks are 80 grand.


I am not talking about spending 80k for a truck. That is an absurd comment. For that much I can live without a truck. 2k is not that significant of a difference but 8k and 10k is significant.

@ Jeff s

Totally agree with you. If u can find a new truck for $5k or less than a used one. Then I'd say go for new truck

Now these trucks going for $70k and $80k is absurd. Especially only year ago I bought one for $42K.

I plan on keeping that for atleast 10 years. God only knows when I'm looking for a new one what prices will be then in 2028...

Having spent some time on both sides of the table at dealerships I can tell you this: If you don't know how much the dealer paid for the car/truck, whether new or used, and if you don't know which day of the month that he closes his books---then you have no bloody idea how low he will go to make the sale.

Cars.com can only tell you what their research indicates and what the MSRP is.

It's useful for learning what the various options list for but it tells you NOTHING about what the dealer is willing to do to make the sale. Which is HUGE when you're talking used vehicles.

@TNTGMC--I keep a vehicle an average 10 or more years . The longest I have kept a vehicle is 20 years--not recommending keeping one that long but it just happened. Agree if you are going to keep a vehicle for years you want to get a vehicle that you like and one that you know will last. Not saying I will never again buy a used or preowned vehicle but I have to have enough savings to consider not buying new. Even aside from mechanical issues how much are you willing to save to put up with a color you don't like, a lack of options or options you don't want, and a few other things. For 2k difference I will definitely buy new. My wife once got a dealer demo which we later discovered had been wrecked but that information did not show up on Carfax or any other source. It was a good car but it had some issues. If I had known that I would have never bought it. There are things besides flood damage and major wrecks that you might miss. Air bags is one thing that a used car might be missing but if you buy new the manufacturer warranties that. I am not saying I would never buy a used vehicle but I would compare it to a new one first. I am at the point of life where I have enough money not to put up with someone else's headache. Many people don't take care of their vehicles and I am one that does. If I found a vehicle I liked that I knew the history of or knew the owner and the owner was very thorough about maintenance I would definitely consider it. My material grandfather would take excellent care of his cars and trucks and would trade them every 4 years. There was always someone locally that would buy his trade-in with in an hour or two from the time he traded it in. He kept written records of all maintenance. I keep a file on each vehicle I own of every receipt on all maintenance and repairs and keep a spreadsheet tracking maintenance and expenses. This might be too much but for me I know everything that has been done and needs to be done. If I buy anything I take care of it. More likely to be satisfied with a well maintained vehicle and less likely to get rid of it anytime soon. I save my money and make payments to myself so if I decide I want or need a new vehicle I have enough saved to pay for it and take the time to get what I want.

@Jeff S

What's the best way to know how much a dealer paid for a car or truck you're thinking about buying?

The answer is really simple. It might even surprise you.

@papajim--Ok, what is it? I think I know but I am always willing to learn. Honestly with no sarcasm.

@ Jeff S

Agree with above statement. You brought up great point about used vehicles and being wrecked. Dealerships (stealerships I call them) hide stuff like that all the time. Also, cars that have less than $5k damn isn't reported.

@ papajim

Do u know how to figure out what they paid for vehicle. Find a friend who goes to the auctions and he/she can find what vehicles are going for. And auctions are what $cr@ws the consumers trade in.

We have a guy who.owns small dealership and he is able to tell us exactly here in midwest what vehicles arw going for.

Can anyone ever know exact? Only if their good friend works at dealership.

Want to know what they paid?

Ask. Really. Just ask. Walk away if they say 'no.'

If they want to sell it bad enough they'll do it. Make 'em show you the paperwork. If they want to sell it they will.

You might be surprised. I've seen it done. My ex bought her daughter a new Mustang for thousands under the actual price the dealer paid. She got it for about half of that car's MSRP.

Dealers unload cars to wholesalers every day in this fashion, just to free up the capital. Even at a significant loss. As long as the price you are offering is better than the wholesale price, they will do it. If they refuse, politely walk away.

@ papajim

And how do you know for sure that's what they truly paid for the car? Dealerships (stealerships) can skew numbers to make you feel like you got a great deal. I can put anything I want a piece of paper stating that I paid this price for something. Just saying, unless you truly know the person working there, I WOULD NEVER trust a car salesman! I have never met one that was there for you instead of themselves.

Leave any sense of personal pride at home. Be a d*ck. You are not there to make friends.

Demand to see a Bill of Sale on the vehicle. If you decide to buy especially. It will show the original seller's name and the person who received it at the dealer. Make 'em notarize it.

Make the GM sign it and date it. Forget invoices---they are worthless. Full of hokey stuff to fool buyers. A BOS is something you can use in court if they mess with you.

@papajim

Agreed. Very good advice. Not many know about this.

@papajim--Thanks for the information.

Key point. They may refuse to show a BOS, but the most important part is asking or even demanding it. If you're looking at a truck that sells day-to-day for about 30k and they don't show you the paper, just offer them 19K and make them counter. They will.

In their training classes they are told that as long as the customer 1. Stays in the room and 2. Keeps proposing a sale price--- then the deal is still alive.

Salespeople in a dealership might get an UP just once or twice a day. They don't want to give up on a chance for a sale--ever. Just be ready if their number matches your (secret) number.

You should have a figure in mind that works before you ever walk in the door.

Be ready to write that check before he changes his mind. If you do this long enough it starts to be fun, just as long as you don't have to make a living at it.

Key point. They may refuse to show a BOS, but the most important part is asking or even demanding it. If you're looking at a truck that sells day-to-day for about 30k and they don't show you the paper, just offer them 19K and make them counter. They will.

In their training classes they are told that as long as the customer 1. Stays in the room and 2. Keeps proposing a sale price--- then the deal is still alive.

Salespeople in a dealership might get an UP just once or twice a day. They don't want to give up on a chance for a sale--ever. Just be ready if their number matches your (secret) number.

You should have a figure in mind that works before you ever walk in the door.

Be ready to write that check before he changes his mind. If you do this long enough it starts to be fun, just as long as you don't have to make a living at it.

It's hard to buy a used truck for less then a new one. With incentives at 10-15K off you'll be hard pressed to find a 1-2 year old truck for less. Dispite what people say trucks hold their value much better then say a sedan which may loose half it's value in 2-3 years.



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