Pick up Truck Keys
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10 People Who Shouldn't Buy a Truck

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Pick up Truck Keys
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Passing on Pickups

Trucks are easy to envy from way down there in your puny little car. They are, after all, big, tall, strong, and capable — but they're also not for everyone. When they're not vanquishing streams, trails, and rock formations on TV commercials, trucks spend a lot of time in real life gobbling up gas, passing on small parking spaces, and leaving mostly unused the capabilities that make them so expensive. Meet the people who should stick with cars or crossovers.


Related: 14 Reasons to Buy a Truck Instead of a Car

Truck Towing Boat
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People Who Don't Tow Stuff

Although they're more than just tugboats on wheels, trucks are defined first and foremost by their immense towing capacity. If you spend a lot of time pulling a camper, a boat, a horse trailer, or some other big, heavy, burdensome thing, you're crazy not to own a pickup. If you don't tow stuff or plan on towing stuff, you have to consider why, exactly, you're in the market for a truck. Trucks are not one-trick ponies. Towing is only part of the package — but it's the biggest part and one that's at the root of what makes a truck a truck.


Related: 12 Reasons You Shouldn't Buy a Truck

Unloading Mulch from a Pickup Truck
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People Who Don't Haul Stuff

The other standout feature that sets trucks apart from the pack is payload capacity. People toss everything from gravel to deer carcasses in their pickup beds. You could try that in a crossover, of course, as long as you never want to sell it or give anyone a ride ever again. Trucks allow for enormous hauls of cargo, particularly cargo you wouldn't want rubbing up against your interior upholstery and leather. But if you don't need a truck bed, do you really need a truck?


Related: 29 Classic Station Wagons We Miss From Childhood

Old pickup truck transports old TV
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People Who Want Their Stuff Kept Safely Inside

The exact feature that makes trucks so unique — vast storage space separate from the passenger compartment in an exterior bed — is also one of their biggest drawbacks. With the exception of the most personal items, the stuff you haul in a truck rides outside exposed to the elements, visible to all, and within arm's reach. For Bambi and the gravel, a pickup bed is perfect. The new 4K TV you just bought from Best Buy, on the other hand, wishes you had bought an SUV.


Related: 10 Things You May Not Realize Car Insurance Covers


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Off- Roading Truck
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People Who Stick to Pavement

Just like trucks aren't only good for towing or hauling, they're also not purely off-road warriors. But they are, by and large, big, capable vehicles with four-wheel drive, good suspensions, and high ground clearance. If you're never going to put any of those expensive features to good use, does it make sense to buy a class of vehicle where all of that is part of the MSRP? Speaking of MSRP …


Related: 25 Cars No One Wanted to Buy

Ford Truck Dealership
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People on a Budget

You can still get good little cars such as the Chevy Spark brand new for less than $15,000. You can go beyond the entry-level models such as the Nissan Versa and move up to second-tier cars such as the Nissan Sentra without cracking the $20,000 mark. By the time you get to the low-$20,000s, you can get inside an amazing, reliable, capable, fun car or crossover such as the Mini Cooper or Subaru Crosstrek — brand new. The cheapest trucks, on the other hand — even the little Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger — now start over $25,000. The popular Ford F-150s and Chevy Silverados start in the very high 20 thousands, but quickly march through the tiers to finally max out in the $70,000 range.

 

Related: Cheapest New Cars and Trucks

Genuine Parts Co.
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People Concerned With Cost of Maintenance

Trucks don't only cost more to buy, they cost more to own. According to RepairPal, full-size pickups have higher repair costs like the kind usually associated with luxury vehicles. The average annual repair cost for a truck is $936, compared with $652 for all vehicles. Trucks are in the shop less frequently, but repairs are more likely to be severe when something does go wrong.


Related: These Are the Least Expensive Cars to Own

Pumping Expensive Gasoline into Gas Tank
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People Concerned With Gas Mileage

It's not only a higher cost of repairs. Trucks cost more to own because they burn so much more fuel than the common car. Exciting things are happening with fully electric trucks such as the upcoming F-150 and Tesla's space-age Cybertruck, but regular old combustion pickups are lousy on gas. Even trucks that are comparatively good on gas don't perform well even when configured specifically for fuel economy. For example, the four-cylinder 2019 Nissan Frontier without four-wheel drive and the base 2.5-liter engine with a manual transmission gets only 19/23 city/highway miles per gallon.


Related: 21 Ways to Get Better Gas Mileage

Rent Your Parking Space
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People Who Drive and Park in Tight Spaces

Pickup drivers tend to love the high vantage point, but trucks are simply not as maneuverable as cars or crossovers — and they're certainly harder to park. That reality is evident to anyone driving a truck for the first time in a city, on a bridge, or anywhere else where space is at a premium. This is especially true for the biggest and most popular crew cab configuration. Even skilled parkers will know the frustration of having to pass on a great spot that could have been theirs in a sedan or crossover.


Related: 50 of the Smallest Cars Ever Made

Pickup Truck Bed
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People Who Value Versatility

Trucks are great because they can be endlessly customized, but they're not particularly versatile. Minivans, SUVs, crossovers, and even some cars have multiple configurations that let you fold down, slide, or otherwise manipulate seats to change the layout of the passenger space and cargo area. You can install toolboxes on trucks, jack up the tires, add steps and covers, but in the end, a truck is always just a cab and a bed.


Related: The 16 Best, Worst, and Weirdest Minivans of All Time

Family Car Ride
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Big Families

Compared with years past, the interiors of even today's lower-end trucks are incredibly roomy, cozy, and packed with creature comforts. Even so, they still generally max out at five seats — six on the biggest models, but there you're talking about very large and expensive vehicles. For big families, particularly if you throw in a car seat or two, pickups get crowded quickly.


Related: 50 Classic Family Cars of the Past 50 Years