The Ford F-Series pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for more than 35 years. In fact, it is the best-selling American vehicle of all time. Clearly, we love our trucks here in the U.S.A., but they aren’t for everyone.

If you’re looking for power and cargo space, a truck might be right for you. But if what you really need is an everyday commuter car with good gas mileage, you should consider another car instead.

Trying to decide if a car or truck is right for you? Below are the pros and cons to owning a truck vs. owning a car.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Truck Vs. a Car:

  1. Size: Cars are easier to maneuver and park. Trucks take up a lot more room.
  2. Price: Trucks are more expensive. You can get a higher-end car for the same price as a basic truck.
  3. Gas: The average passenger car gets about 34 miles to the gallon; the average light truck gets around 26.
  4. Cargo Space: Trucks have lots of room to haul cargo. You can not fit as much in a car’s trunk as you can in a truck’s bed.
  5. Seating Capacity: A regular cab can only hold three people, while a regular car can hold five. Extended cabs will cost more money.
  6. Insurance: Although exact numbers vary, truck insurance can be much more affordable than car insurance.
  7. Variety: With a greater variety of car makes and models available, it is easier to get a better deal.
  8. Towing: Most cars do not have the power to tow another vehicle.
  9. Offroading Capabilities: Trucks have the ground clearance, durable suspension, and all-wheel drive capabilities to make driving off road safe and easy.
  10. Privacy and Security: Truck beds leave your cargo exposed and vulnerable. Cars have enclosed trunks that offer extra security.

 

Size

Trucks obviously have a size advantage over cars, but when talking about a vehicle, bigger is not always better. The compact size and lower ground clearance of cars makes it easy to drive and maneuver in traffic, which is perfect for your daily commute. You also get the advantage of easier parking. A truck can easily take up your entire garage and hog a parking spot or two.

Price

Along with the bigger size, trucks also come with a bigger price tag. For the same price as a basic Ford truck, you could get a brand new coupe with all the features and latest gadgets. If you want upgrades on your truck, the cost only increases. For a truck lover the price can be justifiable, but you will definitely get more features for your money when you purchase a car.

Gas

No one buys a truck because they want a fuel-efficient vehicle. Trucks are heavier than cars and have larger engines that consume a lot more gas. The average passenger car gets about 34 miles to the gallon while the average light truck gets around 26. A heavier truck will get even less, and you’ll pay for it at the pump.

Cargo Space

Everyone has that friend (or is that friend) with a truck that they call whenever they are moving or have large items to haul. Even a spacious SUV can’t compete with the cargo space of a large truck bed. If you are someone who often has to move large items as part of your job or lifestyle, then a truck might be a good investment for you. You will also be giving your friend a break!

Seating Capacity

While that large truck bed is great for hauling furniture, it forces the rest of the truck to be smaller. A regular cab style truck has two doors and no back seat at all. You can upgrade to an extended cab (with a small back seat) or a crew cab (with two full rows of seats), but this will add to the cost. Cars generally have five seats, and some bigger SUVs can seat six or more.

Insurance

Insurance for a pickup truck can be surprisingly affordable compared to car insurance. In 2015, it cost 15 percent less to insure a new pickup truck than a new car. Insurance rates can vary a lot depending on the company you buy from and factors you can’t control, including your age and where you live, but a car with a lot of safety features will generally cost less. A very large truck can be more expensive to insure due to the high cost of repairs, but a smaller or midsize truck can be very affordable.

Variety

When purchasing a new car, it can seem like the possibilities are endless, and they practically are! With so many different makes and models to choose from, it is easy to find something that fits your needs. You also have a good chance of getting a great deal because the market is so competitive. With trucks, your options are much more limited.

Towing

With less powerful engines and transmissions than trucks, cars do not make good vehicles for towing. A truck has the power to tow another vehicle or a trailer easily, making it ideal for 5th wheel or boat owners.

Offroading Capabilities

With good ground clearance, all-wheel drive, durable suspensions and a lot of power, trucks can handle rough terrain that cars can’t. These features also make trucks ideal for driving in winter weather. If you want the freedom to explore off road, a truck might be for you.

Privacy and Security

A truck bed can store a lot of items, but it leaves them vulnerable to the elements and to thieves. The solid roof and enclosed trunk of a car can keep your belongings safe, secure, and out of sight. In a truck, you either need to remove all your cargo or invest in a cargo cover.

Get the Car or Truck That is Right For You

There is no one car or truck that can do it all. To have one feature, you may have to compromise on another. When purchasing a truck or car, keep in mind the pros and cons of owning each type of vehicle. Ask yourself questions about what you are looking for. Can it haul my construction supplies? Do I need more than three seats? The important thing is finding a vehicle that is right for your lifestyle, needs, and price point.

This blog post was originally published on the Camera Source blog here: The Pros and Cons of Owning a Truck Vs. a Car