A red 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 is driving on a track.

Used Trucks Provide the Best Value

There’s no doubt about it; pickup trucks are the most popular vehicle in the United States, and for a good reason. They provide Americans with versatile options that can put in a hard day’s work during the week and then take the family on a camping trip on the weekend. Trucks have long been an American mainstay, and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. Did you know, though, that used trucks will generally offer the best deals for interested truck-buyers?

A brand new pickup truck can run you over $30,000, depending on what you’re looking for in the vehicle. There are some full-size options out there that have base models at lower price points, and you can’t forget about midsize trucks, either. But, in general, if you want a new full-size pickup truck, light-duty, or heavy-duty, you’re going to have to shell out some cash. It doesn’t really matter what brand you go with, as they’re all going to be decently expensive. However, trucks do well to maintain their value over many years, and you can find plenty of used trucks available at reasonable prices.

GMC Sierra

The GMC Sierra is a popular option in the truck world because of its ties to a luxurious and comfortable nature. It is often seen as an option for drivers that still want a hard-working vehicle, but they want some extra convenience features as well. And who’s going to blame them? There’s nothing wrong with getting into a comfortable cabin after working all day.

A brand new 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 has a starting MSRP of $29,600. That’s the base model. If you want to delve into higher trims, like the SLT, AT4, or Denali, you’re looking at over $40,000 for the SLT and over $50,000 for the AT4 and Denali. The heavy-duty Sierra models are priced even higher. Unfortunately, that’s the name of the game. There are a lot of components and features attached to trucks because they have to be ready for just about anything. So, they’re going to cost a bit more than your average passenger car.

If you don’t think you can afford something in those price ranges, it might make sense to look into a used truck. Often, you can find late-model used options that are thousands of dollars cheaper than their brand new variants. It’s not uncommon to find them with low miles and great features as well. Although it will depend on your area and local deals, you should be able to find 2017 GMC Sierra models for less than $30,000. At just a few years old, these models will still have modern features. More importantly, though, they will still function as great trucks.

2017 GMC Sierra 1500 models had the most powerful V8 gas engine available at the time. Plus, certain configurations could tow up to 12,500 lbs. Not bad at all, especially when you’re paying a lot less money for it compared to a newer version.

Chevy Silverado

One of the popular used trucks, a silver 2017 Chevy Silverado 1500, is parked in front of a ranch.

Chevy Silverados are familiar sights all across the country. They’re known for their reliability and durability, especially when the going gets tough. The 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 models are a thing to behold, with best-in-class V8 power and towing capabilities. However, if you know your Silverados, you know there’s nothing new to the high standards they set.

Used Silverados are a great place to look if you need a dependable pickup at an affordable price. New 2020 Silverado 1500 starting prices range from $28,300 to $53,300, so depending on what you’re looking for in used trucks, you could land an excellent deal if you look a few models behind.

Take a 2017 Chevy Silverado 1500, for example. It’s only a few years old, so there’s not going to be much dropoff in terms of available features or capabilities. Certain configurations have 12,500-pound maximum trailering ratings, which is still more than plenty for your average truck-owner. If you need more, you can always look into used heavy-duty models. You’ll still find great engine options with the 5.3L and 6.8L V8 gas engines available, although unfortunately, there is no diesel engine this far back.

Ford F-150

If you want the most popular vehicle in America, look no further than the Ford F-150. F-150 models have been reliable trucks for Americans for decades, and it seems like that tradition will continue for a long time to come.

A new 2020 Ford F-150 starts at $28,745. It’s not a bad starting price point, but you can obviously do better if you go with a used version. If this is around your price range, you might consider that this is the starting point for the base model of the new F-150. If you want more features and options, a higher-trim used F-150 could provide you with that while still being less expensive. And don’t worry, it will still have all the capabilities you need.

Take a look at a 2017 Ford F-150. You have multiple engine options to choose from, including a 5.0L V8 with an output of 385 horsepower. The base engine is no slouch either, as it’s a 3.5L V6 engine with up to 282 horsepower. For towing and payload, you can expect a maximum towing capacity of 12,200 lbs and a maximum payload of 3,270 lbs. And if you want to do some serious off-roading, you can always look into a used Ford F-150 Raptor. There’s no guarantee on price, but late-model Ford F-150s will always be less expensive than something brand new. Low-mileage 2017 models could definitely fall within the $20,000s, depending on features and options.

A used blue 2017 Ford F-150 XLT is splashing through a puddle of mud.

Midsize Trucks

If you think your full-size options would make good deals, then wait till you look at some midsize trucks. For those that don’t need such high limits on towing and payload, a midsize truck is a perfect choice. They’re still built for work, but they also have a significant tendency to go on adventures. They’re an ideal option for someone that wants a truck, but not anything too big.

If you look at some popular brand new midsize truck options, you’ll notice that a lot of them will start at prices below $30,000. The 2020 GMC Canyon starts at $22,200, the 2020 Ford Ranger at $24,410, the 2020 Chevy Colorado at $21,300, and the 2020 Toyota Tacoma at $26,050. If you look into used versions of these vehicles, you’ll be sure to find prices hitting below $20,000. For some of these trucks, there will be plenty of late-model used options available. For others, like the Ford Ranger that wasn’t recently brought back, you might not get past 2019. That is, of course, unless you went back further than eight years ago to 2012.

Most midsize trucks will max out in towing capacities around 7,000-8,000 lbs, which is plenty enough for the avid explorer. Compared to full-size trucks, though, they will typically have much better fuel economies, due to less weight and more fuel-efficient engines. Whether you want a full-size or midsize truck, though, depends on you. But if you want to find a good deal, it’s best to look into used trucks. And always remember to do your proper research before going out to buy one. You will want to see if there will be any warranties in place or what issues you could potentially run into in the future with the vehicle. That being said, it is also important to have used vehicles checked out beforehand to make sure there’s nothing that will make you regret your purchase. If everything checks out, though, you will have yourself a great truck and a fantastic deal.