Have you ever shopped for that perfect used truck and wondered how a truck can be so expensive with so many miles? I have! More specifically, Toyota Tundras, Tacomas, Ford F-150s, Nissan Titans, and more.

These high prices come down to a couple things! These trucks are built for durability, are in extremely high demand, and are really usable for most families. However, ultimately, it all comes down to supply and demand.

So, let’s dig a little more into why and how these different factors come into play.

1. Durability

This is why a truck tends to be much more than a car or SUV. Pickups are built to withstand abuse, work, and long stretches of use on the open road.

Because of this, the price reflects its ability. The longer a vehicle runs, the better the value of the car is. A great example is the recent million-mile Tundras we have been seeing. Read this article on The Drive. This vehicle was driven over a million miles with minimal significant repairs.

This is also why many Toyota and Honda sedans are going for such a high price. Meanwhile, you can get an older Mercedes for a fraction of the cost. The former is just more reliable and inexpensive to fix.

2. Useful multipurpose vehicles

Trucks aren’t meant to just carry loads anymore. If you get a crew cab version of a truck, it also makes a great daily family driver. So, instead of needing two purpose-built vehicles, you only have to own one.

Because of this flexibility in usage, you can, at one point, be in your daily commute and the next minute, hauling a ton of dirt. The more you can do with a vehicle, and the more use you can get out of it, the higher the price.

3. People use them for work, so they are in high demand.

Similar to the earlier point, trucks are used for work. This means that when someone needs a truck, they must get one. However, the other way around is that if someone needs a car, they can also get a truck. 

If there is an item that someone has to have, and it is in high demand, then that price goes up!

When people need that truck to make a living, and they need a good, reliable vehicle, those trucks demand a premium. Then you see all of the pricing reflect that.

4. Originally higher priced

Pickups also start at a much higher price, meaning they must drop considerably farther to be on par with their sedan and SUV siblings.

Look at the ratio of cars, SUVs, and trucks and compare them from their original price to their current price. You will likely find that ratio closer than you initially thought.

Trucks are expensive because they have so much more steel, aluminum, and general products.

5. They still owe on the truck.

Of course, this doesn’t really have to do with the vehicle itself; however, when you are looking at cars in general, and the price seems excessively high, I have found that the current owner often owes on the vehicle and is upside down on loan.

This means they owe more to the bank than the vehicle is worth.

It’s an unfortunate spot, but it can tend to push those prices upwards compared to vehicles that are paid off.

How to save money when shopping for a truck?

If you are looking to buy a used truck with higher miles but still can’t reasonably afford it, you can do a few things to make the price a bit lower.

1. Choose a truck with a smaller or less desirable engine.

Most trucks have many different engines that can be optioned for the vehicle. For example, in the more inexpensive trucks, you have the Dodge with the 5.7, Chevy with the 5.3, and Toyota with the 4.7. All of those engines are exceptionally well known to be great workhorses.

However, suppose you are just looking to buy a pickup on a budget and don’t plan on working the engine hard. In that case, you might save money by opting for something like Dodge’s 4.7L or Ford’s 4.6L engine.

These engines tend to have less horsepower and are less durable. However, they will allow you to gain access to a cheaper truck.

2. Buy a two-door or extended cab version.

Because of what we discussed earlier about versatility, you can save some money if you opt for a two-door or an extended cab version of a truck. Remember, those who have to have the full-door trucks must spend the extra. So, the less usable trucks with fewer doors tend to be less expensive.

Consider a good truck bed organizer if you need to optimize your storage because of the smaller cab.

3. Look for trucks in rough shape.

Of course, this is your final option. If you have to have a good engine and the whole four doors but still need to stick to a budget, you can always find a truck in less-than-perfect condition.

Make sure when you are doing this that either you or someone with you can take a look and make sure it will be reliable for your uses, as a truck in rough shape cosmetically sometimes can reflect less than fantastic maintenance.

However, it may have been maintained exceptionally well if it had been used as a work truck.


We have learned in this article that several reasons can cause a truck to have a higher price than cars or SUVs. However, durability and their multiple functions make the most significant difference.