What do America's three best-selling vehicles have in common? They're all pickup trucks.
It is no secret that the United States has long been a truck-loving nation. But as carmakers refine the driving and handling of pickups, more drivers are beginning to see them as jack-of-all-trades. After all, no other vehicle can boast the space and comfort of an SUV with unmatched towing and load-bearing capacity of a truck.
But it is this versatility that makes shopping for a pickup much different – and more difficult – than shopping for a car. So how do you find the truck that suits you?
Always start with an honest evaluation of how you plan to use your new truck. Then choose the options that best meet these needs. (And do not forget car insurance .)
What to look for when buying a truck
Here are some important factors to keep in mind when looking for your perfect truck.
- Mid-size or full size: The first element you should explore is how big a vehicle you really need. If you do not plan to tow or tow heavy loads regularly, a medium-sized truck may be the best choice. Pickups like the Chevy Colorado, Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger are capable enough for most jobs around the house and their smaller size comes with increased fuel efficiency. Full-size trucks are the workhorses of the pickup world. If you use your truck for work or to tow a boat or motorhome, you will probably benefit from the power of a Ford F-1
- Cabin and bed size: Then decide how much space you need both inside and out. Most truck cabins are available in standard (two doors, no rear seat), extended (two or four doors, small rear seat) and crew (four doors, large rear seat). Pickup bed options include short (about 5 feet), regular (about 6.5 feet) and long (about 8 feet). Keep in mind that when it comes to cabin and bed sizes, more space is usually accompanied by a higher price tag.
- Driveline: Most pickups are available with four, six and eight-cylinder engines. They also have the choice of two- or four-wheel drive. When choosing an engine, you need to balance the trade-offs between price, horsepower and fuel economy. And if you are often in winter weather or off-road conditions, four-wheel drive is probably a wise choice.
- Towing and towing: All pickup trucks can carry heavy loads and towing a trailer . Knowing how much weight you need to move will help you decide if you need a light or heavy truck. According to the Kelley Blue Book for example, a new Ford F-150 can carry a payload of 2890 pounds and tow 13,200 pounds. But with the more capable F-250, those numbers increase to £ 3,880 and £ 18,000 respectively. The rule of thumb is to buy a truck that has about 10% more power than you really need. Just keep in mind that bigger is not always better. If you buy a heavy truck, expect to pay more at the pump and experience a harder ride.
- Safety: When buying a new vehicle, safety rating is always an important factor. Be sure to check before driving your new truck from the site. The Insurance Institute for Motorway Safety (IIHS) conducts crash tests and other safety analyzes, e.g. headlight strength. Check out their ratings for large pickup vehicles and ratings for small pickup vehicles .
- Trim and Options: Twenty years ago, choosing your pickup meant that you would decide if you needed features such as power locks and windows. But in today's market, luxury features such as infotainment systems, heated leather seats and even sturdy tailgates are available for truck buyers. Just keep an eye on the final price tag as these options can inflate the price by more than $ 10,000.
- New or used: There is nothing like the smell of the new car. But with new truck prices ranging from $ 20,000 to more than $ 80,000, it may be worth letting someone else take the first write-off. Trucks are built to last, so buying a used model can still provide a reliable pickup at a fraction of the cost.
Are you wondering how insurance works when you buy a new car? Read our related explanation: Is your new car covered by your car insurance?
New Truck Insurance
While your new vehicle will lose some of its value the minute you drive it off the lot, that does not mean your insurance coverage should hit as well.
Ask your local ERIE agent to add New Auto Security endorsement to your auto quote. If your new car 1 is combined, ERIE will pay the cost of replacing it with the latest comparable model year (minus your deductible). (And if you've had your car for more than two years, ERIE will pay the cost of replacing it with a comparable model that is up to two years newer and up to $ 30,000 fewer miles than the car's current mileage minus deductible.)  Learn more about car insurance from ERIE or get a quote to see the ERIE difference yourself.
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1 The vehicle is considered new when it is less than two years old. Qualified vehicles must have both comprehensive and collision coverage and replacement value must be based on a comparable model. The endorsement is sold by car, not under insurance, and contains the specific details of coverage, terms, conditions and exceptions. Please note that new vehicle compensation and better vehicle compensation do not apply to rented vehicles; only Auto Leasing / Loan Security Protection applies to rented vehicles. When payment is made during a new vehicle change or better vehicle change, automatic leasing / loan coverage does not apply. Coverage does not include items such as late payments and transfer balances from previous leases / loans, etc. Coverage is not available in all states. Insurance products are covered by terms and exceptions not described here. Ask your ERIE agent for more information.