Pick-up trucks have become increasingly popular in recent years, but deciding whether one is right for you can be a tricky decision.
With the growth in demand, there’s now more choice, and because of that, pick-ups now come with both practicality and the creature comforts you’d expect in a car.
But should you get one? If you’re asking yourself that question, here are the pros and cons to help you make a decision.
When most people think of pick-up trucks, they think of towing or hauling. And they’re not wrong. This is, after all, what pick-ups were designed for.
As they’re such a powerful vehicle, they’re ideal for towing trailers, caravans or boats. And their flat load area makes them perfect for carting object too big or impractical for a boot.
Of course, pick-ups were typically always used for commercial purposes – in construction, for instance: their purpose to carry large amounts of heavy materials.
Generally, you’d only use them for loads you didn’t mind being exposed to the elements, although you can also get covers to secure whatever it is you’re transporting.
However, nowadays, more and more people are choosing pick-up trucks for work and as a personal or family vehicle because of their versatility.
That’s because they come with the same space of a standard road car inside, the ride height of an SUV and an unchallenged load bay at the rear.
But when you’re choosing a pick-up, it’s important to get the right one for your needs.
For example, there are a few different choices when it comes to the size of the cab. With single cab models, it’s a single row of seats for typically two or three people.
Meanwhile, with a king or crew cab, there are seats in the back, but it would depend on the model how much leg room it would afford as well as how many rear doors it has.
Yet, despite all its space, the pick-up isn’t a viable option for everyone. If you need seven seats, a pick-up won’t accommodate for that, for example. In this situation, you’d be better suited with an SUV or MPV.
On or off-road
Once upon a time, driving a pick-up truck was only for the truly hardy. Their function came first, and to be able to do what they do meant they needed to be tough.
Because of this, pick-ups weren’t the most comfortable to travel in either on or off-road.
And while they’re still not as comfy as an SUV or luxury saloon, they’ve come a long way in terms of ride comfort while not forgetting their original purpose.
Newer models are now packed with features to improve driver experience. Such as the Ford Ranger’s active noise cancelling or Nissan Navara’s coil-spring suspension enhancements that give it greater high-speed stability.
Off-road, the pick-up’s heavy-duty suspension and four-wheel drive come into their own. With grip on rough terrain and a high ground clearance to stop the truck dragging or scraping, they’re ideally suited to tackling off-road.
As it should be, safety is always a major factor when it comes to choosing the right vehicle.
Pick-up trucks, simply by virtue of their size and sturdiness, are, for the most part, safe vehicles.
However, it’s not solely down to the vehicle’s size. The Nissan Navara, for instance, boasts a whole host of safety features including vehicle dynamic control, brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution and seven airbags.
Meanwhile, the Ford Ranger features lane-keep assist, parking sensors, traffic sign recognition and a fixed rear-view camera.
However, it’s worth noting that these driver aids are often only available on the higher-spec, more expensive variations.
Comfort and style
Undoubtedly, comfort and style are the main areas pick-ups have improved in recent years.
Interiors are now plusher, more comfortable and more akin to a new car. For example, the VW Amarok mirrors the Volkswagen car interior.
All versions are roomy with five seats. And if you go for the Trendline model, you’ll find heated seats, climate control and a 6.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
And while a pick-ups luxury often needs to make way for its work ethic, if you need something that works and plays hard, a pick-up can happily fill both roles.
The not-so-often considered Ssangyong Musso is another good example of this – rugged, practical and refined. It’s good value, too.
Built for towing and hauling, a pick-up truck will never be the most economical or eco-friendly vehicle.
Saying that, in general, pick-up trucks have become substantially more fuel-efficient as technology has advanced.
Of course, your running costs are going to depend on several factors – your payload, your journey length and driving style. And even weather can effect your mpg, with engines often operating less efficiently in low temperatures.
Realistically, a pick-up truck will never rival most standard cars when it comes to fuel-efficiency.
However, if you’re looking to keep cost low, the Isuzu D-Max, Ford Ranger and Nissan Navara all record more than 40mpg.
And, if you lease your pick-up truck, you can curb maintenance costs, too.
By including a maintenance package, all wear and tear repairs, servicing and MOT costs are included in your monthly payment.
As well, if you lease a new or nearly-new model, you’ll not only pay less on a lease than if you bought it, but you can also drive with confidence knowing you’re protected by the manufacturer’s warranty.
One big reason for the surge in popularity of pick-up trucks is the potential tax savings. HMRC class any vehicle as a van if the payload exceeds 1,000kg.
If your pick-up can carry that, it means you’ll play a flat rate of road tax no matter which model you choose.
As well, if you take out a business lease, and your company is VAT registered, you can claim up to 100% of the VAT back on your monthly payments and maintenance package.
The pros & cons of pick-up trucks
Now you understand more about what pick-ups can offer, as well as where other vehicles might be stronger, it’s time to decide whether a pick-up truck is right for you.
To help, we’ve condensed the advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of pick-up trucks
- Range of upmarket and popular models available
- Ideal for carrying heavy loads of up to and over 1,000kg
- Can be used as a family vehicle
- Good for towing caravans or trailers
- Comfortable driving experience
- Can perform well and tow/carry at the same time
- They’re safer than most other vehicles
- Features are more car-like with comfortable interiors and the latest technology
- Tax rate benefits
Cons of pick-up trucks
- No petrol, hybrid or electric models available just yet
- Can only comfortably take four to five people
- More passengers can mean compromising on load bay
- Open load area means a cover is needed with weather-sensitive materials/for security
- Fuel economy can often be worse than alternatives
- Can be less sharp to drive and harder to manoeuvre
- Not as refined or sophisticated as SUV rivals
- Not as fuel-efficient as other vehicles
Can I lease a pick-up truck?
Yes, you can. And it’s easy to lease a pick-up truck.
Just like leasing a car, you make your application, agree your monthly price, sign your paperwork, then take delivery.
And you can find out in minutes whether you’ll be approved for a pick-up truck lease by using our quick and easy Apply Now form.
Just fill out a few details, then we’ll work with our lenders to help find you the best deal – all without affecting your credit file or damaging your credit score.
To get started, just click Apply Now.