Why Are Trucks So Expensive?


If you compare prices from 20 or 30 years ago and now, you will find incredible differences in prices. Well, we can say there is inflation, but it is something more than that. Nowadays, pickup trucks are not just working machines. These vehicles are offering the same level of comfort as some premium sedan. You can find them with four, five, or even six seats. Also, there is a lot of infotainment equipment, additional features, and the man many options that boost the overall price of these kinds of vehicles.

Now, we have trucks that are worth $100,000. Still, some cheaper offers can be found for $30,000 to $35,000. For example, Chevy Silverado with V6 engine costs $36,000. Thirty years ago, our predecessors could buy a similar vehicle for $10,000. Quick comparison – in 1985 Toyota pickup price was $8,000. It came with 2WD, long bed, automatic climate control, and standard cab. Converted to 2019 dollars, that is about $18,500. Now, Toyota sells base Tacoma SR for $25,000. Compared to the previous truck we mentioned, it comes with a 6-ft bed and extended cab.

2020 Ford F-150 Raptor changes
Ford Raptor costs $50,000

Price Raise in Past Ten Years

One of the best indicator of price change is the average price paid for a pickup. Last year, buyers were paying nearly $50,000 for a truck, average. Ten years ago, this price was under $35,000. So, a 50 percent price bump in the last decade is a big deal. If we compare the last 5 years, the jump is 20 percent. So, in 2013 the average price was $40,000. For this amount of money, you can buy some premium vehicle.

Ford F-150 is the most popular model nowadays. The company will soon break the 1 million sales per annum. The price of the truck is doubled over the last 17 years. Well, we must count inflation. But, it is only 28 percent. So, the high-end F-150 Limited truck can cost $100k. Seventeen years ago, fully-loaded the pickup was priced around $50,000. However, there are new technologies, equipment, materials, engines…

2020 Sierra HD Denali interior
GMC Sierra HD Denali is a luxurious heavy-duty truck


The old-school the truck wouldn’t have a chance against today’s pickups. And there is a new threat – big sport utility vehicles that have most characteristics as trucks. Do you need to tow a lot? Some SUVs can haul over 9,000 pounds. At the same time, they are safer, spacious, full of different equipment that will make a trip more joyful. So, trucks had to match the offer.

Well, the high-end models can now tow over 30,000 pounds. No SUV can offer to tow capacity near this number. So, this is another reason why trucks are so expensive. These vehicles are there to work. Still, practicality is not worth without comfort and luxury touches.  

2020 Ram 3500 Towing Capacity specs
Modern trucks can tow more than 30,000 pounds

Modern Problems

So, you pay $50,000 for a truck and what could go wrong? They look nice, they are comfortable. A lot of gadgets will help you with work. But, we can hear many complaints about problems with wires and harness. When you tow gravel it is hard to clean the bed after the hauling. A lot of chrome looks cool but costs too much. Some old-school truckers would like to see stripped down work pickup. You won’t find this breed nowadays. Now, trucks are more of a status symbol, and we can see them used for an everyday trip to stores and back, rather than field and farm jobs.