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Is A Truck Right For You? Here’s What You Need To Know

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There are dozens of different kinds of vehicles you can buy in this day and age, and they all have different purposes. Among the types of automobiles available you have sedans, minis, sports cars, hot rods, vans, compacts, trucks, heavy duty trucks and so much more.

It can be almost mind boggling how there can be so many different variations of four wheels and a place to sit, but each one has its own unique purpose. A truck, for example, is a remarkably diverse vehicle in this day and age, as they sit just as many as a standard car while offering plenty of storage in the back and the horse power to go practically anywhere.

Trucks Are Great Vehicles

It can sound particularly appealing, actually. There aren’t many faults to a truck: plenty of place to put stuff, in the cab and in the back, the ability to adapt to most situations, plenty of seating room in the cab for the whole family, the horse power to take on even the wildest of trails all packing into a remarkably slick and smooth package.

A ride in a truck can often be smoother than a luxury sedan, because the shocks are designed to take much worse than your standard pot hole.

Different Vehicles for Different People

But is a truck right for you? There are a few things you should know about trucks before rushing out and buying one. While it may seem pretty obvious to read, there are many different types of trucks out there.

They all look basically the same, but knowing a few facts about trucks in general can end up saving you some money on your purchase and a lot of trouble overall when dealing with the salespeople and finding exactly what it is you may need.

Trucks Guzzle Gas Quicker

The first thing that you should know about a truck is that they guzzle up gas. It takes a lot of energy to move something as large as most pick-up trucks are these days, and that energy all comes from the fuel. The biggest problem pick-up trucks face is the fact that they are not easy on gas.

Commercials and salespeople like to try and make it sound good by quoting what kind of distances they can get, but this is because most people compare trucks to other trucks instead of to cars. A truck may be better on gas than another truck based on its miles per gallon traveled, but when compared to a standard car the numbers are incredible.

A car can often get twice the distance a truck can on the same amount of gasoline. So if you’re looking to get a pick-up truck you’d better be ready to pay for it in terms of the gas prices. It’s definitely not a great option for those working on a limited budget or income.

Maintenance Costs are Greater

But the costs don’t stop there, either. A truck is not a cheap endeavor in the least. The next thing you’re looking at in terms of cost is the insurance on the truck. Because it’s a versatile vehicle and can go off road and on trails with relative ease the insurance on a pick-up truck will be more than it is on a car.

This is because the truck is susceptible to more damage and more accidents by being able to cross more terrain, and the insurance company wants to make sure they get their money’s worth out of the policy if they might have to pay off more frequently to truck owners. It’s a bias that you’ll have to face even if you don’t intend to take your truck off road, so keep that in mind as well.

Can You Drive A Truck?

Of course the cost isn’t everything when deciding if a truck is right for you. There are other factors to consider as well. What kind of driver you are, for example, can heavily influence whether or not you should buy a truck. Typical pick-up trucks, especially the modern types, are very large vehicles and take up a lot of space on the road.

While you can drive them with the same license as the one you use to drive your car, it’s a whole different feel than a smaller sedan; that much is certain. The truck takes up a lot of real estate on the road and you need to be able to keep that in mind and handle it appropriately.

There’s a lot of truck behind you as you drive, so you need a lot of clearance when merging, when turning and so forth. If you’re a nervous, slow or cautious driver then a truck might just be trouble for you, as it will take you a lot of time and a lot of gas to get anywhere. Consider whether or not you’re able to handle that much vehicle before looking into getting a truck.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, when determining whether a truck is right for you is what exactly you need it for. Because of the heavy costs involved and the trouble driving it, on top of the hefty price tag most trucks hold, you have to consider if it’s really worth it.

If you’re just looking for something to drive around town in, or to take to work, then a truck is definitely not what you need. It may feel empowering having that much power but if it’s serving the same purpose as a used sedan can then it mightn’t be wise to pick one up.

On the flip side if you need something that can carry a lot, whether it be tools, materials, bags, garbage, et cetera, then a truck is easily the best option given the excess space it has in the pan. Parts can always be added for extra security including a pan cover to keep it all safe.

With all of this in mind you should take your time to figure out whether or not you really need a truck. It may seem appealing to have something that versatile to drive, but it can cost much more than it’s worth at times, and be too much trouble for casual drivers.


Derik Johnson is a retired auto salesman who now writes articles for and other websites teaching people how to buy cars and trucks without losing their money.

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