To the uninitiated shopping for a truck might seem as simple as shopping for a car. Pick your color, engine and any additional features you want and head to the dealer right? Not quite. See trucks are a special vehicle and over the years have developed styles and features all their own. If you’ve never looked into buying a truck before it can be easy to get lost in the whirlwind of gear ratios and towing packages. Here are a few things that should help make truck shopping a bit easier and hopefully help you find the truck that’s right for you.
Trucks are expensive
Just to get this out of the way, trucks cost more than cars do. They are specialized utility vehicles and should be treated as such. The average car in 2016 sold for right around $25,000. The average truck came in about $20,000 higher at $45,000, budget accordingly and remember that as a general rule your monthly payment shouldn’t exceed 15% of monthly income. Be sure to talk to your truck dealership about what your truck will be used for.
Know what you’ll be using the truck for
Trucks are a constant struggle for balance between two things, power and fuel economy. The sizing of your truck is extremely important. Consult the tech specs available from the manufacturers so that you purchase enough truck for the jobs you do. In general experts say you should slightly over estimate your needs to make sure. Basically if your truck doesn’t have the torque to handle the job then you burn too much fuel to do an equivalent amount of work that a heavier truck could do.
Engine and Axle Ratios
This directly affects towing power, so if that is something you will be doing a lot of, make sure your gears and axle ratios are appropriate for what you need. Basically the bigger the axle ratio, the more fuel you will burn, but the more towing power you have.
Bed Size and Cab Size
Cabs generally come in 3 sizes, Regular which is the standard single row seating, Crew cab which has 4 full doors and a back seat, and King cab which is almost like having a small SUV with a truck bed. Bed lengths generally come in 4, 6, and 8 feet so cab size is usually directly proportionate to bed size. You can get longer beds on bigger cabs, but these will be much harder to park or garage effectively.