Are you Sick of Driving Small Cars?
Looks like you found the perfect blog about trucks for first time buyers! Do you want to invest in something with more power and flare? Well, we’ve got just the thing for you! Cruise above the crowd in a symbol of classic Americana, the pick-up truck.
Built more rugged than any other commercial vehicle on the market, a pick-up truck has the power and utility to get you through any challenge. However, pick-up trucks come in so many configurations, it can be hard to narrow down which one is best for you.
Read on to learn about financing a pick-up truck, the standard options and features of pick-up trucks, and some of the best trucks for first-time buyers.
Financing Payments for a Pick-Up Truck
Pickup trucks tend to be more cost-intensive than other commuter vehicles. However, that’s because they’re built with longevity and a high-demand lifestyle in mind. It’s a great vehicle for investing in if you want something you can drive for years to come. However, you do need to be prepared to make those bigger payments.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to financing car loan payments on any vehicle is to keep your payments at around 15% of your monthly income. For instance, if you make $3000 in a month, you don’t want your monthly payments to exceed $450 a month.
If you don’t have a great credit score, one of the best ways to lower your payments is to offer a sizable downpayment (roughly 20%) and/or a trade-in vehicle. If you’re still having a difficult time lowering your payments, consider GAP Insurance.
Trucks retain their value better than any other vehicle on the market, so you should be just as prepared financially if you want to be a used truck. If you’ve never financed a vehicle either, we can help with that, too!
What Functions and Features Do You Need?
Just like buying a car, you need to consider what you’re going to use your truck for, especially if you’re buying one for the first time. Not all trucks are great trucks for first-time buyers.
An issue many new truck owners run into is buying a truck that has more features than they need, saddling them with a larger than necessary debt for their vehicle.
Most models of trucks come with so many options it can make your head spin. To make it a little easier, we’ve compiled a quick list of functions and features you should be aware of.
Mid-Size or Full-size?
If you just picture yourself behind the wheel of a truck and don’t intend to do any heavy towing, consider a mid-size truck. Their compact size makes them easier to drive and park, but they still offer plenty of utility, making them easy trucks for first-time buyers.
If you’re looking for a real workhorse of a truck, you should consider a full-size truck. You can make full use of the bed of the truck, and they typically provide better horsepower and torque to tow whatever you need.
Light, Medium, or Heavy Duty?
These descriptions represent the payload capacity and the towing capacity of the truck. The payload capacity is how much weight you can carry in the truck’s cab and bed combined, while the towing capacity represents how much weight the truck can tow.
If you know what you intend to use your truck for, you can determine what payload and towing capacities you’ll need out of your first truck. For a quick guide on how to calculate them, check out this helpful guide.
The best estimate to use for your payload and towing capacity is 10% more than the heaviest thing you want to carry or tow.
The cab size is also an important factor to consider. Are you looking more for comfortable passenger space, or do you need more room in the back? Consider these different cab sizes and what you’re looking for.
- Standard Cab- This cab has two doors and one row of seats. They can fit 3 people at max, and there’s little to no room for storage in the cab.
- Extended Cab- This cab has four doors, but the back doors are hinged backward. The second row of seats doesn’t offer much room.
- Double cab- Similar to an extended cab, but the back doors are hinged frontward like a sedan.
- Crew Cab- These are nearly identical to a double cab, but the back row of seats provides more room for passengers.
The bed of your truck is generally Short, Standard or Long. These sizes vary by a few inches from manufacturer to manufacturer, but these are the typical sizes:
- A short bed is 5’8” long
- A standard bed is 6’5” long
- A long bed is 8’ long
When you’re buying a sedan you might think too much about how big or powerful your engine is. However, when you’re buying a truck, you need it to be able to perform the jobs you wanted it for.
The power of your engine is what determines how much horsepower your truck will have, but more importantly, it determines how much torque your truck will have. The horsepower will give an indication of how fast you can get it going on the highway. However, folks looking for a working truck are looking for torque. This determines the amount of low-end power your truck can exert when hauling or towing.
The size of your truck also plays a role in horsepower and torque. The performance of a V6 engine in a mid-size truck versus a full-size truck is substantially different. Additionally, the size of your truck versus the power of your engine will determine the overall fuel efficiency of your vehicle.
Great Trucks for First Time Buyers
Now that we’ve gone over some things you should keep in mind when you’re shopping for your first truck, let’s take a look at some of the best first-time buys.
The Ridgeline finds itself on this list because it handles more like a Sedan than it does a pick-up truck! It can offer such a smooth ride because it is the only pick-up truck on the market to have unibody construction, as opposed to the standard body-on-frame standard for pickup trucks.
This means the Ridgeline is more comfortable and lighter than your typical pick-up, improving your overall fuel economy. Unibody construction has a notably higher safety score, too. That’s how the Ridgeline got its title as the “only pickup truck in America to earn the highest possible safety ratings from both the U.S. government and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).”
If you’re looking for an easy-to-handle and affordable truck, this mid-size truck is the truck for you.
Ford’s F-150 is a classic pickup truck that has been America’s best selling truck for 42 years straight. With an unbeatable record like that, how much more assurance do you need to know that this pick-up truck is quality?
One of the reasons the F-150 has been the best-selling pickup truck for so long is because, in a market where reliability and longevity are essential, they soar above the competition. According to Ford, there are more F-series trucks on the road with 250,000 miles on them than any other pickup truck on the market.
If you buy this full-size monster as your first pickup truck, chances are, you won’t be needing to buy another truck for a long time.
Tacoma’s are near and dear to our hearts here at NWMS. According to Kelly Blue Book, we’re not the only ones who understand their value. Year after year they remain one of the best trucks for retaining resale value. We all know how fast the value of a vehicle depreciates as soon as it rolls off the lot, but Tacomas retain 62% of their value even after five years of use!
This midsize truck has exploded in popularity in the past decade, and for good reason. Among mid-sized trucks, it offers the most versatility in terms of its options and trims. You can buy a base model that’s not meant to leave the pavement, or you can invest in a Tacoma that’s built to take the abuse of off-roading.
No matter what you intend to use your truck for, the Tacoma is sure to offer a package that fits your needs.
There’s no better way to round off this list than with another dependable full-size truck, the Chevrolet Silverado. Another classic truck, the design of this bad boy has remained essentially the same throughout its lifespan, giving it an ageless and classy look.
Whether you need a heavy-duty or light-duty configuration, there is a Silverado out there for you. Workhorse, off-roader, or the lap of luxury, a Silverado can be whatever you want it to be.
If you want a truck with a classic look and all the benefits of a full-size truck, Silverado is the truck for you.
There’s a Truck out There for You
You should put a lot of thought and consideration into what kind of truck best fits your needs before you visit any dealership. We know that full-size trucks can be eye-catching, but you have to consider whether all that truck is a boon or a burden for your life.
Even beyond its size, what other factors are important to you? Do you want it loaded with safety features like a back-up camera and active park assist? Maybe you want something with a fully-loaded infotainment system?
Whatever your unique sets of needs and preferences are, the beauty of the pick-up truck is that it is uniquely customizable compared to any other segment of commercial vehicles. If we’ve got you amped up about your first truck, why not take a peek at our inventory and see if we’ve got it in stock? Or just head down to any of our locations, we’ll be glad to show you some trucks that will fit your needs and lifestyle.