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Wondering Where All the Affordable Used Trucks Went?

2017 is off to another great start in the automotive world. Especially when compared to some of the other years we’ve seen. Gas prices are still stable, there are thousands of used cars coming off lease, and the new vehicles being debuted have some of the most advanced technology we’ve ever seen. Things are looking good, unless you’re in the market for a used truck. In which case, you’re probably pulling your hair out and screaming, “where have all the affordable used trucks gone?” after viciously scouring the web and dealerships just to find a good deal. While there’s both good and bad news regarding the jacked-up prices of used trucks and SUVs, all you probably see is the expensive price point.

I’m here to enlighten you, and let you know there is still hope.

Why the Price Hike?

While this is painfully obvious, it’s important to go over why you’re seeing an uptick in the price of used trucks. Furthermore, it’s not just used truck prices that have gone up — it’s new as well. Why? Because of the economy. It’s doing better, which means people (as a whole) are less-stressed about finances. On top of that, gas prices are still relatively low. Since this has been a trend for the past few years, we’re finally seeing an increase in pickup sales (new and used) since consumers aren’t worried about paying the price at the dealer and the pump. Pickup trucks have always been popular, but consumers are actually buying them (now and for the past few years), which means the market is profiting from this demand.

Hey, don’t be mad; it’s just the nature of the automotive industry.

Average Used Pickup Prices Have Jumped

Of course, this is awesome news if you’re looking to sell a used truck, considering you’re in a position to get a healthy sum for it. However, buying one is a nightmare. Let’s take a look at some of the data that CarGurus has recently published.

  • Average prices for used pickups are 22% higher than they were four years ago
  • Average price for a used pickup in January 2013 was $19,672 (when the demand wasn’t there), $22,231 in Jan. 2014 (demand started to increased), and launched to approximately $23,978 for the start of Jan. 2017.

Along with this data, CarGurus also noted that shopper inquiries for used pickup trucks have gone up by 36% as compared to requests for other used types of vehicles. That’s a huge jump in search, which is typically a good indicator of a jump in sales, even with the corresponding price hike.

The real cherry on the top of this ice cream sundae? Used trucks are also retaining their value better than other vehicles, and only experience an 18% drop in value (depreciation) from MSRP over the first three years, as opposed to other vehicles dropping 25% on average.

Some Affordable Options

But, for those who aren’t about to pony up for the price of a new car on a used truck, I have some options for you. Since they’re retaining their value so well, you’ll want to go for something that’s about five years old. That way, you get to save on the added two years of depreciation. The 2012 GMC Sierra 1500, 2012 Ram 1500, and 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 can still be found at decent prices right now. In fact, you can find all these for under $20,000 (if you look hard enough). Just make sure they are the full-size models and either 2012 or older. As you go up in size and power, so does the price.