Why Do Used Trucks Cost So Much?


We love trucks for their power, flexibility, and versatility. As with most things, when we’re faced with the characteristic high prices of new trucks, we turn to the second-hand market.

Today, unfortunately, even the old ones are becoming very expensive.

Actually, Reuters asserts that the cost of a used truck from 2010 has increased by 75%. 

Why Do Used Trucks Cost So Much?

Used trucks cost so much because they are often more durable than newer models, have a wider selection of versatile options, and because newer trucks are even more expensive than used trucks. 

There are many reasons why that 10-year-old truck you like is more expensive today than ever. While someone may be quick to point out their outstanding features, history does have a major role to play. 

Economic Downturn

More than a decade ago, when The Great Recession led to a serious economic downturn, the auto industry was adversely affected.

Vehicle manufacturers had been taking advantage of the fact that vehicles are an important part of our everyday life; during and after the downturn, people stopped buying new cars for very obvious reasons.

Those who did tried as much as possible to avoid large vehicles like trucks.

Those who already owned the SUVs and trucks started driving them less often. The gas prices were too high for the average truck’s fuel economy.

The most obvious response from the vehicle manufacturers was to make fewer vehicles.

Although things returned to normal after the government bailed out the industry, the reduction in car production created a ripple effect, and we can still feel it today.

Although there are many cheap trucks in the market, you’re likely to you’d find a used truck that is still very expensive.

Many used vehicles listed below $10,000 from the Recession period have been declining faster than the demand.

Considering that people were avoiding large vehicles at the time, it makes sense why trucks are some of the most affected.

The obvious consequence of this is what we’re experiencing: a higher demand for trucks, a declining supply, and increasing prices for the few trucks left. 

Notice that automakers didn’t generally stop making cars during the economic downturn; they responded to the demand and prioritized the cars that were selling. 

These weren’t trucks. They were small vehicles.

As a result, few trucks were made from that period; today, those trucks are now selling as used cars.

As they are few, they are very expensive. Experts predict that the trucks’ prices will start reducing when the trucks from 2012 and beyond begin getting into the used car market.

The Pandemic

Although the older trucks were already expensive before the COVID-19 pandemic, the outbreak made things worse. 

First of all, as the virus surged across different parts of the U.S, automakers started shutting down their plants.

This ended up restricting the supply of new truck models, which includes full-size pickups. 

As the country came out of the first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people who wanted to buy a truck had to consider the old-school options. As not many trucks were being manufactured, it made sense why the demand for the older ones surged.

Of course, there are other factors that explain why older trucks are more expensive. They include the following:

Durability

This is often the main reason why older trucks are usually more expensive than many other vehicles. 

More and more people are realizing that many new vehicles, including trucks, are not as durable as their older versions. For instance, the body of the new F-150 comprises mostly of aluminum. 

Its hood is mostly aluminum, as is its truck bed. This is undesirable because it compromises the integrity of the entire vehicle. 

It also means lower safety; during an accident, the truck is likely to crumble if the amount of impact is significant enough.

On the other hand, a used version of the same truck is made of steel. This offers it more protection, and, as a result, more likeability. 

Although not all trucks can brag about this feature, most of the older models can; they have features that make them sturdier and more durable.

New Truck Are Expensive 

One of the most obvious reasons why older trucks are expensive is the fact that people are increasingly buying trucks. 

Trucks are generally built to serve many purposes, including hauling and towing things. 

As more people require trucks to perform their everyday activities, the demand of trucks, in general, is increasing. This means that the prices of the trucks in the older truck market are going up as well. 

Secondly, the older trucks are quite expensive because the trucks being produced today are very expensive. 

As trucks hold their value well over time, the increasing cost of purchasing new trucks is directing eyes towards the older versions, ultimately driving up their prices.

Low Depreciation Rate

People are increasingly purchasing used trucks due to their low depreciation rate, thereby driving their prices higher. 

Typically, when you purchase an older truck, you avoid the first depreciation that every new truck undergoes when it’s sold. 

When you wait for a few years to buy the same truck, you would get it at a much lower price. Moreover, the supply of used trucks is still low because people are not willing to sell them, thanks to the same principle. 

Selling your truck after purchasing it new means that you have to incur a huge loss. 

For instance, when you just purchase a 2019 Kenworth, its value depreciates by as high as 20%! Given that the truck is still new, that’s a huge loss. 

Conversely, if you manage to get a good deal on a piece that is already used, the price may not reduce at all for some time. 

Actually, there are certain people who purchase used vehicles for purpose of reselling them for more money. You’d be lucky to hear someone buying a new truck to sell it for more. 

Many truck lovers who understand this fact are increasing the demand for the trucks and driving up their prices. 

Simplicity

It’s clear that used trucks are becoming more expensive by the day due to the high demand for them. 

One of the reasons people are turning towards the older trucks is their simplicity. To some people, these vehicles are not unnecessarily complicated as their current versions. 

As it seems, not many people appreciate the countless buttons and knobs. Some find them confusing and annoying. A classic truck keeps things simple and straightforward. You will hardly find any complex wiring, and it offers a lot of space for comfort. 

Due to such aspects of simplicity, many people find the classic trucks perfect for DIY projects. As an owner, all you need to do is get beneath the hood and begin working.

Many drivers who own or at least drive trucks are often experienced drivers. These people don’t usually value traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, and other similar features as much as the younger, inexperienced drivers. 

Many truck drivers consider such driver aids hindrances to enjoying the truck. 

Someone who doesn’t want a car telling them what to do would naturally gravitate towards a vintage model. Many truck drivers love the action; the handbrake turns, burnouts, drifts and so much more. 

Variety And Flexibility

Another group of people that are driving truck prices up are people who value access to more brands and models. 

Like all the other vehicles, trucks go through innovations constantly. 

Almost every year, we see a test truck model with new “added” features, although they’re usually a rehash. 

Consequently, trucks retire quite fast. As a truck lover, this means that you access to models and brands is limited if you want to have the latest models.

This is one of the reasons many businesses find purchasing new trucks from reputable brands unfeasible. 

The used models offer more flexibility. You get to choose from more models, years, makes, and options. 

For instance, if you want a model with a conventional diesel or turbo engine, you’ll have many options to choose from. 

Definitely, the story is the same for the other options. If you are deciding between an AMT transmission truck, a six-speed manual transmission truck and probably an Allison automatic, going to the second-hand market would help you a great deal.

Used Trucks Are Expensive

Besides the historical trends, many people are leaning more towards second-hand trucks and increasing their prices because they are:

• Generally more durable

• They are versatile

• New trucks are very expensive

• The older versions have a low depreciation rate

• They are perfect for action 

• They are simpler

• The second-hand truck market offers more variety and flexibility 

John Nelson

You can find John stringing a hammock from the back of his SUV to a tree camping in the outdoors most weekends during warmer weather. John loves the outdoors and the freedom four-wheel-drive vehicles offer.

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