On my way back from the Financial Blogger’s Conference I made a detour to visit my mom. She lives in a small, rural town and almost everyone there drives a truck. A truck is the default vehicle for most of the residents, whether they are male or female, young or old.
This is a poor town and I hate to think how much money it is costing people to drive a truck rather than a fuel efficient car. Some of the people do need the truck for their work, but most people have a truck just because everyone else has a truck so they do too. These trucks are mainly driven back and forth to work and never have anything more than a couple of bags of groceries in the bed. Many of the trucks have accessories such as cattle guards even though the trucks never leave the pavement. I doubt many of the owners of these vehicles have ever figured out how much it is costing them to own a truck.
Some owners might think they need a truck because they do need to load things in the pickup bed a few times a year. If one is only needing the actual functionality of the truck a few times a year it would be cheaper to rent a truck or get a truck hire. Trucks can be rented at a fairly cheap daily rate and Home Depot even rents trucks by the hour. An article at Mr. Money Mustache explains how you can turn a little car into a big one and thus eliminate the need for a truck. The strategies in the post are to add a roof rack or even better add a bumper cargo box since it is more aerodynamic. If those two strategies don’t add enough space it is suggested that a small trailer can be obtained cheaply and be towed by even a relatively small car. You also can fit a lot in a hatchback or wagon. I’m able to sleep in the back of my hatchback and used it when I moved out of my latest apartment.
If you are driving a truck, you might ask yourself whether you really need the truck and whether you are getting a good value from owning a truck.
4 thoughts on “The Cost of Owning a Truck”
A truck is manufactured to take more physical abuse. The engines are also intended to handle varying loads which means it will last longer.
Even though they may last longer I think the cost of ownership would still be higher. It would be very difficult to overcome the gas mileage cost and tires for a truck are much more expensive as well.
Oh that that were true. Many sold in the USA light duty trucks hardly deserve the title of ‘truck’ anymore. Case in point, friend bought a 2008 Tacoma, used obviously. Previously owner had never taken it off pavement, with six months of some admitedly ‘challenging’ off roading in Northern AZ the frame was cracked. He’s welded and gusseted it back together, but its now a pavement only daily driver. In truth the Tacoma is a Camry masquerading as a truck. Compared to the Hi-Lux (Toyota’s light/medium duty truck they sell in the rest of the world), its a toy. The reason is this, and it makes sense if you think about it : In the USA there is a huge, absolutely immense market for large trucks like the Tundra. That market is non existent outside North America, where fuel costs are double or triple what they are here. I was a loyal 2 Toyota pickup/Tacoma owner, but won’t buy a post 2004 Tacoma pickup, unless I can figure out how to import a Hi-Lux. Which, from what I understand, is damn near impossible.