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Used Trucks with the Lowest Cost of Ownership

Used Trucks with the Lowest Cost of Ownership

When you’re shopping for a used truck, determining the cost of ownership comes down to plain and simple research. Used truck shopping isn’t easy, and you’ll need to know what you’re looking for before you get started on your hunt. This article will take you through the primary factors that contribute to the high or low cost of ownership, as well as listing out many of the vehicles that have a low cost to own.


If you’re looking to save a few bucks on a new used truck, you don’t have to sacrifice a quality backup camera. Camera Source offers a wide variety of high quality backup cameras and other upgrades at great prices. If there is a particular truck you’re considering purchasing, Edmunds has a handy tool to estimate the cost of ownership.

The Trucks with the Lowest Cost to Own

1. Ford F-150

The mainstay of the Ford line, the F-150 makes up for any upfront cost with reliability and a long lifespan, making it less expensive to own.

2. Ford Ranger

This lighter-duty pickup gets great mileage, and some owners report driving theirs for 250,000+ miles. The low cost to drive a ford ranger for that long will save a lot of money over time.

3. Ram 1500

One of the biggest and most luxurious vehicles on the market, the RAM 1500 has a low cost to own for the features it comes with.

4. Toyota Tacoma

Tacomas are known for their performance and unique body style. There are few trucks that offer quite the same bang for the buck as this one.

5. Chevy Silverado

Because of its wide and mainstream appeal, the Silverado is one of the easiest and least expensive vehicles to maintain due to the availability of parts and its overall reliability.

The Trucks With the Highest Cost to Own

1. Nissan Frontier

The radiator on the 2005-2008 Nissan Frontiers is prone to a cracking issue which sprays coolant all over the transmission. According to some mechanics, this is the truck to get if you like repairing transmissions.

2. Chevy Colorado

From rusted frames to faulty electrical systems, the 2003-2005 years of the Chevy Colorado are some of the most problematic years for any Chevy. Don’t let the low price tag fool you.

3. Ford Trucks with 5.4-liter V8

While it was an innovation at the time, the trucks built with this engine have a tendency to have problems and require replacements.

4. Chevy Avalanche

Speedometer issues, paint cladding, transmission failure were just some of the issues plaguing various models of this truck. Avoid if you can.

5. GMC Hummer

Because of their status as a bit of a fad, and a number of performance issues over the years, Hummers are not particularly valuable vehicles to purchase and they have a high cost of ownership.

What Affects Cost of Ownership: The Three Main Factors

The cost of ownership fundamentally breaks down to three factors--miles per gallon, total upkeep, and value of the vehicle.

1. Fuel Economy

This is a big one. Depending on how much fuel-efficient the vehicle in question is, you might be getting more than you bargained for if you have to fill it up every other day. You can contrast the miles-per-gallon the truck gets with its reliability. Remember, great MPG doesn’t mean much if the truck is constantly breaking down. As a general rule of thumb, older trucks often get worse mileage, but some older trucks actually (for example light-duty trucks like the Ford Ranger) get better mileage than newer models.

Other factors that might affect MPG include an engine that’s not running properly or one that hasn’t had regular maintenance. Making repairs to these issues should be factored into the cost of ownership because if a vehicle like this looks cheap, you might not actually be getting a good deal at all.

2. Upkeep

While some vehicles are cheap to maintain and use throughout their lifespan, some are assuredly not. When you’re looking at the cost of ownership for a vehicle, you want to factor in as much information as you can. Ask yourself questions beyond MPG, like:

  • If it breaks are parts readily available?
  • What is the difficulty level of working on the vehicle? Will you require a mechanic?
  • Are there unique features or accessories on the vehicle that will cost extra to maintain?

Some trucks just cost more to maintain, due to the frequency of breakdowns and the severity of them. Some trucks are rarer than others, which means that parts are less available and the relative scarcity of the vehicle drives the price up. You might even say that the cost of ownership of a used truck is directly related to its reliability.

3. Value of the Vehicle

Value is a tricky thing. The reality is that some trucks are just more expensive to purchase and own than others, due to factors that are often independent of what the material value of the vehicle seems to be on the surface.

Other Factors

  • Age

Older cars may have worse gas mileage or require more maintenance from years of wear and tear than newer cars. Although, some newer trucks with more modern features need parts replaced more frequently than some of the older trucks.

  • Mileage

Mileage means more wear and tear on the vehicle, which means more things are prone to breaking and needing repair or replacement.

  • Insurance

Some trucks have better safety ratings and features than others, meaning that insurers will charge more or less depending on the model year.

The Questions to Ask Yourself Before Purchasing

Used trucks come with history, and sometimes that includes issues that need some attention.

  • How long before the cost of repairing outweighs the cost of purchasing a new vehicle?
  • Which trucks have the cheapest types of problems to fix?
  • Which trucks have the fewest problems to fix?
  • Which is less expensive? Many little problems or a few big ones?

After you make a purchase decision, it might be time to invest in a backup camera. Camera Source has a full inventory of high quality backup cameras and our staff’s expertise can help you fight the right one to fit your needs. Get in touch or browse our product line today!

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