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Pickup trucks have always been a status symbol for a certain demographic, even when it’s unrelated to the trucks’ actual stated purpose of moving stuff around. And that demographic, as loyal pickup truck buyers, has a lot of influence over the direction of new models. Even though pickups seem to get bigger every year, there are ways around that for people who really need a truck, but really don’t want or need a massive truck. Even though auto manufacturers say they’re responding to consumer demand by constantly building and selling bigger pickup trucks, there are only a few models available for consumers who only need modest power or modest size. Deciding to buy a used truck is one way to easily open up the playing field and have more models to choose from, with a range of engine options, bed sizes, and cab configurations. A used pickup will also, of course, be a bit easier on the budget than buying a new one.

Seasoned pickup truck drivers typically have strong preferences, but there are enough used pickups on the market to satisfy most needs. It’s a bit trickier for first time or inexperienced truck buyers, because there are a lot of decisions that need to be made. An honest assessment of how the truck will be used is the first critical step, so a shopper on a budget will not end up buying a bigger or more powerful truck than is absolutely necessary. Shopping for a used pickup is easier when the potential buyer acknowledges and accepts that the available examples have probably seen some hard days. Used trucks are not going to be pristine. But if the buyer really needs a truck (in other words, is actually going to use it to haul stuff around) the newly acquired wear and tear will quickly be indistinguishable from the old. A well chosen used pickup will be a solid investment.