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Prices On New Trucks Are Dropping: Here’s How Seniors Can Find Deals

7 minute read

By Lesley Harrison

Pickup trucks and other similar large vehicles are popular with seniors. They are often looking to replace their more sedate sedans with something that can handle a more varied retirement lifestyle. Their ample size and good visibility means pickup trucks are safe on the roads. Meanwhile, their large carrying and towing capacity makes them ideal for taking on a range of projects, from property renovations to sporting adventures. Prices for new trucks are falling at the moment, putting them within the reach of many older adults. Take a look at the benefits of buying a new truck and learn about some of the best buys on the market.

Why Choose a New Truck?

Conventional wisdom states that trucks depreciate in their first couple of years of ownership. That probably means a lightly used model a better buy than a brand-new one. However, the recent supply shortages and manufacturing delays mean demand for used vehicles is high. In turn, prices for used trucks has also shot up.

If you’re willing to accept delivery delays, you can probably find a good deal on a new truck. Basic models are more affordable than they’ve been in a long time. It’s even possible to get relatively high-spec models for a much lower price than you might expect — especially if you’re willing to shop around and get several quotes.

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What To Look for In a Senior-Friendly Truck

If you’re a senior looking to buy a truck, make sure it’s safe, comfortable and easy for you to use. Some important considerations include:

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How To Get the Best Deal on a New Truck

When shopping for a truck, it’s a good idea to visit several dealers. That will help you form a good idea of exactly what features you want. Margins on vehicles aren’t as large as they used to be, so dealers try hard to sell finance packages or up-sell extra features.

Before you visit a dealer, look at the trim options for the truck you’re interested in. Then decide what you are (and aren’t) willing to pay for. Check Kelley Blue Book for the fair market value of the truck. There’s usually some room for you to negotiate the price down from the MSRP to the minimum prices listed on KBB.

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Finance vs. Cash Buys

One way dealers drive up the total price is by offering confusing finance packages. A dealer might offer a selection of options, but focus on the monthly payment for each one. Using this tactic, they can make one truck seem much more appealing than another. Don’t fall for their trickery.

Remember to consider the entire term of the loan, along with the monthly payment. Saving $20 per month on your car payment isn’t actually a long-term saving at all if you end up making that monthly payment for an extra year. Any finance plan that involves paying interest will cost more in the long run than simply paying cash for the truck.

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Trading in Your Current Vehicle

Think about what you want to do with your current vehicle. If you have the garage space, you might want to keep a small sedan for short city drives. If you’re planning on trading in your car or crossover when you buy a truck, however, don’t disclose that to the dealer right away. Wait until you’ve agreed on the price of the truck before discussing trade-in prices.

Again, check Kelley Blue Book to get an idea of the value of your car. Used car prices are higher than they used to be, so you may get a decent figure if the car is in good condition. You can probably get an even higher price by selling your old vehicle privately. However, many people appreciate the convenience of using the dealer trade-in option.

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Top New Truck Choices for Seniors

Today’s trucks are more comfortable, luxurious, and energy-efficient than the old-fashioned workmen’s vehicles you may have seen in your youth. Many offer leather interiors, sophisticated entertainment systems, and driver assistance features. All of these combine to make even longer journeys safer and less arduous.

Ford, Chevrolet, and GMC are among some of the most well-known manufacturers of senior-friendly trucks. There are also attractive options from Honda and Toyota. The following list includes some of the most reliable, affordable, and robust options for seniors, so you can make an informed decision about which trucks best suit your needs.

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1. Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline is a mid-sized adventure truck with prices starting at $37,640. The rugged exterior and durable construction are combined with a comfortable interior and intuitive controls that make it easy to drive in a variety of conditions.

This truck offers an impressive towing capacity and fuel economy of 18 mpg in cities and 24 mpg on highways. This is lower than a midsize SUV but quite economical for its class. AWD capability and a scratch-resistant truck bed mean this adventure truck can handle almost any task, from camping and fishing trips to helping your kids move home.

Source: Honda

2. Ford F-150

Ford’s F-150 is available in several models, with the XL version starting at $29,990. This truck can seat up to six people, and it has a generous bed, too. The Pro Power Onboard feature lets you use your truck as a mobile generator, putting out up to 7.2kW of power.

The spacious interior features a touch screen for in-car entertainment and navigation and a “work area” for handling paperwork or other day-to-day tasks on the road. The F-150 may be marketed toward tradespeople, but the comfort and build quality make it an appealing choice for leisure use too.

Source: Ford

3. Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The Chevrolet Silverado is a pickup truck that was redesigned in 2021 to be bigger yet lighter and more fuel-efficient. With a starting price of $30,400 for the 2022 version, the Silverado 1500 is affordable to buy and economical to run.

The 3.0-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine delivers impressive towing capability and fuel economy of up to 31 mpg on highways. A built-in Advanced Trailering System lets you build trailer profiles, work through pre-departure checklists and maintain safety on the roads even when pulling heavy loads. The touch-screen offers access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus a built-in WiFi hotspot.

Source: Chevrolet

4. Toyota Tacoma

Toyota’s Tacoma 2022 has a starting MSRP of just $26,700. For that, you get the reliability and generous warranty policies associated with any modern Toyota. The Tacoma is a stylish and modern truck, available in a variety of colors and with several trims to choose from, too.

Designed with off-road use in mind, the Tacoma is rugged and durable and has TRD-Tuned Internal Bypass Shocks that can handle difficult conditions. If you’re looking for something that can handle long, adventurous road trips, you may appreciate the handling and safety features of some of the higher-end trims. Front climate control and luxurious interiors are offered as standard.

Source: Toyota

5. GMC Sierra

The 2022 GMC Sierra is set to launch soon, and the price is yet to be confirmed. The Sierra has seen some upgrades for the new year, with a more luxurious interior, improved (and more expansive) dashboards and better driver assists. Adaptive ride control makes for a more comfortable journey, and the Super Cruise driver-assistive technology offers a near hands-free driving experience.

The spacious truck bed can carry impressive loads. An innovative AT4X terrain mode lets you navigate steep or difficult terrain using just the accelerator, reducing the risk of stalls or loss of control. The GMC Sierra is a fun choice if you’re an active senior who wants a hassle-free driving experience.

Source: GMC

Manufacturing Delays May Mean Waiting

Supply chain issues mean lead times for trucks can be as long as five months. These delays are expected to last well into 2022, and in some cases, 2023. If you’re looking to buy a new truck in the near future, be prepared to wait for it to be delivered.

Many dealers offer a loaner vehicle so that you have something to drive while you wait for your new truck to be delivered. Get any loan agreements in writing, and make sure the price you pay is set in stone on the day you sign the agreement, so you don’t have to worry about any unexpected delays or price increases.

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Lesley Harrison

Writer

Lesley Harrison is a technical writer and open source software enthusiast with a passion for all things "data". In her spare time she coaches youth sports and loves exploring the English countryside.

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