Is Owning a Truck Worth It Financially? 

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By the author of What School Should Have Taught You.

Everybody is getting hit with inflation pretty badly at the moment. Food prices are through the roof, paychecks don’t pay the bills like they used to because of decreased purchasing power, and the best way to avoid getting angry while at the gas pump is to just look at your shoes until the car is filled.

With all of this going on at the moment, I have to ask, is keeping a truck around just for the occasional truck necessities worth it?

truck worth it

Here are some of my thoughts on that at the moment.

When I first got my truck, one of the initial advantages was that it allowed me to dispose of my trash without having to pay for trash pickup. That’s a minuscule savings for what one pays for a truck, but it was something that was appealing to me.

Plus, I’d always wanted a truck, and my little old car was just about to bite the dust.

I bought an inexpensive used truck, sold the little car, and was able to save a little bit of money by taking care of my own trash. What I spent on gas compared to that little car, however, easily more than ate up whatever trash savings that I was able to put away in my pocket.

So if the only reason you keep a truck around is for trips to the dump, you’re not saving money.

The other reason I wanted a truck was because I do a lot of fixer-upper projects around the house, and it’s literally impossible to get those accomplished without a truck. I spent years renting places that needed stuff fixed, but I was always able to just get the landlord to take care of it, or I was able to somehow stuff everything into my little car if I left the trunk open.

I can’t even begin to count the number of times I had lumber hanging out of the back of my little car. If you have a house that requires fixing up, new construction, or general maintenance issues, I’m not entirely sure how to accomplish all of that without having a vehicle large enough to move everything.

One of the things I think about a lot is outside landscaping work.

It’s just about impossible to get all of that accomplished inexpensively without a truck. Sure, you can buy bags of dirt and gravel at Lowe’s, but that is insanely more expensive than just having an excavator fill the back of a truck up with dirt.  

If you only have to do this once – maybe you’re doing gravel landscaping – odds are you could find somebody with a truck (those are always popular friends) that would be able to help you out there. If you use mulch, do a lot of landscaping, or regularly need to move drywall, lumber, and other large construction materials, I do think that having a truck is the way to go unless you have regular access to a friend or family member with a truck of their own.

Outside of that type of relationship, it would probably just be cheapest to rent a truck on the off occasions that you need one.

If you raise any type of livestock whatsoever, I don’t know how one would make it without a truck. With a small number of chickens, perhaps, you would be able to just stuff the bags of feed you would need into the car, but with anything else, I think a truck is the only way to go.

The back of my truck has carried goats, chickens, and a pig. Try stuffing a pig into a Honda Civic. Tell me how it goes. (That being said, I did sell a little goat to a lady that just put it in the trunk of her SUV. It promptly joined her up front.)

I say all this to help you to get a better handle on whether or not a truck is worth it for you.

If literally, the only advantage you get out of it is a small weekly savings on trash hauling, you could save a lot of money in gas with a cheaper car and make a pretty good chunk of change by selling the truck to boot. I’m not sure if you’ve looked at the prices of used trucks at the moment, but it’s obscene how high they are.

If you do have 2-3 trips per week that require a truck, then I think we’re talking about something that has some definitive use for your household. Otherwise, you’re just paying property tax for something that isn’t really doing you a lot of good. It has tangible value, yeah, but if you have bills that really need to be paid or debts that you owe, selling that truck that does more sitting in your driveway than it does being driven with a purpose is probably something you may want to start thinking about.

What are your thoughts here? Is a truck worth it?

Do you feel having a truck is worthwhile for you? Why or why not? Would selling a rarely used truck be a good option for paying off debts? Tell us in the comment section below.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

Is Owning a Truck Worth It Financially? 
Aden Tate

Aden Tate

About the Author Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to PewPewTactical.com, SurvivalBlog.com, SHTFBlog.com, ApartmentPrepper.com, HomesteadAndPrepper.com, and PrepperPress.com. Along with being a freelance writer he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American at Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

6 thoughts on “Is Owning a Truck Worth It Financially? ”

  1. In Texas, there is an enormous “love affair” with trucks, i.e. “pick-ups.” As far as I can tell, the majority of them, (and SUVs) are used mainly for commuting and transportation, not working and carrying loads. Most carry only one person. High school and college kids expect to have them. It is neither logical or intelligent use. Strictly emotional – and the bigger the better. We have a small acreage, with cows, chickens etc. We own a 1997 Ford Ranger. It hauls feed, hay, and livestock to the butcher. But we don’t use it to go see my mom 30 miles away. It also gets 28 mpg – it serves it’s purpose. It is not particularly comfortable, but it is better than a wagon. We would not mind a larger, more comfortable truck – but there is no economy in it.

  2. Although I do have a truck for towing the RV, most times I use a small landscape trailer behind my small car for dump runs and such. Mine is 5X8 has a 2000# GVW. It weighs 325# empty.
    They can be picked up for under a grand from places like Lowes. Most states issue permanent tags for them and without brakes they don’t usually require yearly inspection.
    Hitches are available for virtually any car for not too much money.

    1. Came to say the same thing. I have wanted a truck for a long time but can’t justify the expense since they are more expensive to buy and also butn more gas. Now I have kids in carseats… that’s a much more expensive truck, and if I can’t haul my kids in it I’m not going to drive it. In my situation, a little trailer would cover all my needs much more cheaply.

  3. My very much appreciated used non-electronic pickup came to me as part of unraveling a complicated relationship with a long ago girlfriend who had concealed several really disgusting character flaws from me — including dishonesty, thievery, spendthrift inclinations, and attempts to turn me into her slave. So I was not out any cash for the pickup but paid for it dearly with much lost time otherwise.

    It has a full sized long bed over which fits a convenient camper cap that is easy to remove or re-install. I’ve used that to “camp out” many times to various events instead of paying outrageous hotel bills. I can buy or sell much larger items via CraigsList that I can (for privacy reasons) transport to some location other than my home address for doing deals. Anything larger than what the pickup can carry has occasionally gone onto a utility trailer that I can tow behind that pickup.That also lets me haul rather sizeable equipment to local dealers or service shops as needed — who are not in the business to driving to my location with their shopful of tools and supplies. If I ever had to go long-term nomadic, I would trade the open top utility trailer for an enclosed lockable one.

    I used to buy wrecked cars and use the good pieces to make working roadable ones … so I have no problem doing much of the truck’s maintenance. That’s just one more cost savings feature. On the farm where I grew up, having both a pickup and a full-sized flatbed truck was part of mandatory equipment to make that business possible.

    Today if my pickup were ever destroyed … I would try to find another much like it. It’s simply a proven usable tool.

    –Lewis

  4. After spending quite a few years hauling all manner of things in my 06 Hyundai Elantra, I finally got a truck. Even though I was able to haul lumber, dirt, tools, and quite a few other things in that car I just needed the space. Since I had also been told I would be working from home, I no longer had a 35 minute plus (each way) in-city commute, I could now afford the gas. I ended up getting a used (same year as the car, actually) pick-up, but before I signed the papers I did a lot of digging on vehicle history and maintenance details.

    Consequently, my truck drives very well, has no major issues and hauls everything I need. I use it quite frequently. So it’s definitely an equation to be solved, and the answer is different for everyone.

    For me I wouldn’t say it saves me money exactly but it allows me to take advantage of a lot more deals and such than I otherwise would, and I don’t have to pay delivery costs anymore.

  5. For most of our married life – almost 50 years – we had one vehicle at a time, and for many years it was a ’71 VW beetle. It could haul a lot, and if I had it to do all over again with the same circumstances, that’s the thing I’d have, especially with children.

    But it was tough hauling big stuff. Then one of our sons wanted to move back to Texas from the East coast. It was cheaper for him to buy a little old pickup than rent the smallest U-Haul. We gave him $1000 to buy the truck; after about a year, he gave it to us. We drove it until it quit, then sold it for scrap. Our next one was a used S-10 with power steering and a/c (the Izusu had neither) that we got for about $2000 from a relative. We drove it for a few years until it quit on us on a trip to Oklahoma. We gave it to the man who gave us a ride to the Budget Rental. Ten years ago, we bought a 1999 F-150 from our son’s girlfriend at the time. $4000. It’s a work truck. We can drive it out in the pasture and not worry if it gets too close to the mesquite trees. Hauling gravel, concrete blocks, lumber or hay is no problem. It’s rough and not as comfortable as a car; the heater doesn’t work but the a/c does (because of said son). it’s a wonderful tool to have when living out in the country. Yes, I’ve hauled firewood in the trunk of a Crown Victoria, but I don’t recommend it. My husband is retired, so most of the driving we do is taking the grandkids to school (3 miles away) or frequent trips to Lowe’s.

    We’re not well off, by any means, but I love having a truck and wanted one for years and years. It pulls our utility trailer (to go get free firewood) or our boat (when it’s running). We’ve had emergency moving situations when it would’ve been impossible to rent a truck.

    If I could have any truck that I wanted, it would be a 1949 Ford, like my dad’s or a beat-up anything pickup pre-1965.

    When our other son was in the army, and we’d go to New York to see them, I was always struck by how few trucks there were north of Syracuse. In rural Texas, that and SUVs account for most of the traffic.

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