Over the past few years, the cost of trucks has steadily increased. Some half-ton trucks cost as much as $80,000, but the market average was around $56,000 in May 2012. Heavy-duty trucks can easily cost $100,000, while even the cheapest trucks you can buy in 2023, will cost you between $24,000 and $38,000.
So why pickup trucks are so expensive now? It’s a combination of things, one of which is the general increase in the cost of new cars. Pickup trucks have come a long way and now represent a far superior mode of transportation. And interest in them, whether for aesthetic or functional reasons, is skyrocketing.
And now in this article we will evaluate the top 10 reasons for the high price of pickup trucks.
1. Pickup Trucks Are More Reliable
According to a recent study, trucks, not cars, have the longest lifespans. Yes, it’s true; pickup trucks have been proven to be the most dependable cars on the road. A vehicle’s reliability can be measured in different ways. The average lifespan of a car and the typical issues its owner might anticipate to face.
When compared to vehicle engines and transmissions, those in trucks are simpler and so less prone to breakdowns and easier to repair. So, trucks have a longer lifespan than cars. Trucks are often far more dependable than cars since their makers are required to build them tough so that they can resist rough terrains and carry hefty loads. In reality, a truck will go on average 50,000 miles (80,467 kilometers) further than a car.
2. The Chicken Tax Plays A Critical Role
Taxation is arguably the most divisive issue in the United States. It is practically hard for a citizen to avoid paying taxes. Some taxes, like a sales tax on purchases or a property tax on a residence, are intuitive. However, there are some taxes that make no sense and are quite irritating.
The so-called “chicken tax” levied on pickup trucks is one such levy that angers auto fans. This extra 25% make it hard for both company and consumers. Furthermore, middle-class families now have a more difficult time affording the luxury of a pickup vehicle.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the cost of a new automobile or truck in January was up 12% over the same month a year ago, while the cost of a used vehicle increased by a stunning 40%.
3. The Engines in Trucks Are More Powerful
A strong engine is necessary for a pickup truck since it needs to be able to pull hefty loads. Pickup trucks often feature powerful and sophisticated motors. Materials and design work of the caliber required for those engines don’t come cheap.
Used for work, a pickup vehicle with a cheap engine won’t last very long. A buyer of that truck who has an unexpected breakdown soon after purchase is not going to be pleased. The company’s reputation and bottom line could take a major hit as a result.
To overcome this, manufacturers must spend more money to guarantee that their engines are constructed from the highest quality components. The expense of engineering is added on top of that. They need top-tier engineers developing their power plants if they are going to stand out from the crowd. And the cost of hiring one of these engineers is very high.
The pickup truck’s engine is a surefire way to drive up the cost. Pickup trucks are more expensive than other cars because of the high cost of manufacturing their powerful engines.
4. Innovative Technology and Security Features
As time passes, technology continues to progress. This is evident on modern pickup trucks, as most are outfitted with cutting-edge technology and incredible safety measures.
It has automatic folding side mirrors, reverse sensors at the rear bumper for reverse mode, a digital panel for the dashboard instruments, automatic “rain-sensing” windshield wipers, automatic headlights that adjust based on the environment, an anti-fogging system, and many other features. As a result of these advancements in technology, modern pickup trucks are considerably more expensive.
Pickup trucks are enormous in comparison to regular city cars. They’re designed for heavy work.
Because they are usually used in high-traffic areas, there are several potential for accidents to occur.
Although a pickup truck will not do as much damage as a semi-truck in a collision, it can nonetheless cause significant damage.
A lot of effort, for example, goes into lane collision avoidance and front-end protection. To protect the driver and crucial engine components, the makers will utilize high-quality materials in the front end. In the event of a front-end collision, the pickup truck has a better chance of surviving.
As a result, manufacturers spend a lot of money and time developing innovative safety features. Because the production expenses of providing modern safety measures are higher, the truck’s price is higher.
5. Expensive and Precious Materials
Large pickup trucks with a lot of storage space require a great deal of components. Using a lot of steel for the body, the transmission, and the frame is a huge and costly undertaking. Steel, being strong and easy to work with, makes for a great material for vehicle construction. It’s still a heavy load to bear.
Components like engines, transmissions, and even body panels are increasingly being made out of lightweight materials like aluminum as manufacturers strive to lower the overall weight of their products. This material is lighter in weight, but it is often more expensive and might be more challenging to work with in some applications.
6. Truck Size
In the past, pickup trucks served as the primary compact work vehicles on farms. In addition to the two doors, it included a single bench seat that could comfortably accommodate two or three people. Trucks are currently larger than they have ever been. There is a huge selection of different designs available with four full doors, and some of them offer seats for as many as six people.
The larger the truck, the more resources the maker will require to construct it. More materials are needed for the entire truck, including the outside and the internal mechanisms. As a result, the price of manufacturing such a large pick-up vehicle is high.
7. Fuel Efficiency
Pickup trucks generally have larger engines because of their intended use as cargo vehicles, which results in higher fuel consumption. Its ability to pull increases the truck’s fuel consumption. But with the development of new technology and the implementation of new regulations on carbon emissions, today’s pickup trucks are more fuel efficient without sacrificing engine power.
Pickup trucks typically have diesel engines because they are efficient and powerful. In light of the ever-increasing cost of gasoline, diesel-powered pickup trucks have become increasingly popular as an alternative. Most modern pickup trucks also feature a “eco mode” that allows for increased fuel economy.
8. High Demand
A product’s price tends to rise and stabilize once it becomes increasingly sought after by consumers. In reality, new trucks are outselling new automobiles by a factor of three to one. According to Vehicle History, pickup trucks are the most popular choice in the market in 39 of the 50 states.
That’s in part because of the pickup’s evolution into high-end, practical, and everyday automobiles. Consumers are particularly fond of stout pickups for use in work and off-road settings. But modern trucks are using even tougher materials, cutting-edge innovation, and plusher touch spots.
9. Famous Name-Brand
The price of a truck can be significantly affected by the manufacturer’s reputation and brand name. When it comes to pickup trucks, a select few stand out as industry leaders. Ford is among the most well-known brands in the pickup truck market. It has earned its stellar name in the trucking industry by manufacturing reliable vehicles that can handle demanding conditions.
A Ford vehicle may be more expensive than competing models, but that’s because the Ford brand is more well-known and respected. People who want a truck with the Ford name on it are willing to pay more because they know they are getting a reliable vehicle.
They believe it is money well spent. It’s a safer option than buying a truck from a manufacturer with a lesser track record. Some brands of pickup trucks are significantly more expensive than others.
In the past, pickup trucks were rather basic vehicles. Although the “three on the tree” manual column shifter remained in use far into the 1980s, the engines were weak and the comforts were sparse. These days’ pickups are among of the most dynamic and high-tech performance vehicles out there. The engines in pickup trucks have become much more potent as technology has allowed them to shrink and become more fuel efficient.
To give an example. the original Toyota Tundra featured a hefty 4.7-liter V8 engine capable of producing 245 hp and providing maximum towing of 7,200 pounds. The all-new 2022 Tundra upgrade engine is a 3.5-liter V6 hybrid that produces 437 hp, 583 lb-ft, and a 12,000-pound maximum tow rating thanks to its twin turbocharging.
Moreover, for the 2023 model year, Ford equipped the Ford F-150 Raptor with a 3.5-liter High-Output EcoBoost V6 that produces 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. This permits the 2023 F-150 Raptor to accelerate from zero to sixty miles per hour in a little 5.1 seconds, allowing it to traverse even themost treacherous of off-road environments.
Still, it’s not just the ability to exert force that’s expected. In addition to the impressive amounts of torque and horsepower, drivers also expect a smooth and relaxing ride. The price will go through the roof if high-tech suspensions and sturdy frames are included.
These are the reasons why pickup trucks are so much more expensive now than they were in the past. It serves as both a practical car and a traveling buddy. Unlike cars, it can function in a wider range of road conditions. It sacrifices some fuel efficiency for increased torque and power. The current market demand for it exceeds that of cars, and it look like this will continue for a long time.