Why are trucks so expensive right now?

truck prices

There’s no denying the price of many types of vehicles have skyrocketed lately. Trucks are no exception, and in fact, they may have led the pack in price increases.

Both new trucks and used trucks are pricey right now. If you’re in the market for a new truck, you’ll be hard pressed to get out of the dealership without paying at or over MSRP. And used trucks, even ones with high miles, are going for much more than they would even just a few years ago.

So, what’s the deal? Why do trucks seem to be so expensive right now?

New and Used Trucks are Expensive – Here’s Why

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve certainly noticed the prices of trucks (and other vehicles) have seemed to skyrocket lately.

The simple answer is supply and demand.

There are simply not enough trucks (new or used) to satisfy the demand for them in most areas.

New model truck supply is low for reasons stemming from microchip shortages to other supply chain issues, all of which were exacerbated by COVID-19.

Wait lists for new vehicles are long, and if you walk into a dealership right now, salespeople don’t even seem like they’re trying to sell it to you – they know it’ll sell, and they know it’ll go for close to MSRP or more.

A shortage of new vehicles then trickles demand over to the used truck market, which in turn has increased prices there as well.

Even used trucks with high mileage are fetching extremely high prices.

The economic formula is simple, more people want trucks than there are trucks to sell.

Reason Behind the Truck’s High Demand

In the U.S., trucks continue to be the top selling vehicle in most states.

The pickup truck is a unique vehicle in that there’s a large spectrum from wants to needs when someone decides to buy one.

On one side of the truck market, you’ve got the buyers whose truck is part of their identity. They want a truck because they love trucks, and they want the latest in technologies, trim packages, and extras that come with each new model year.

On the other side of the truck market are people who need trucks for their job or their hobbies.

If you work in the trades, farming, construction, home services, etc., a pickup truck is an essential part of the job. And if you’ve got hobbies like fishing, boating, skiing, camping, off-roading, etc. a truck makes doing what you love a whole lot easier.

And of course, you’ve got the intersection of consumers who both need and really want a truck.

How to Get a Cheaper Pickup Truck

Sometimes, it can seem like snagging a good deal on a truck – new or used – is like finding a needle in a haystack.

It’s not looking like truck prices are going down anytime soon, so if you do need a truck, you’ll need to figure out how to get the best price.

For one, try to think about what you really need in a pickup. If you don’t NEED the latest features and full options of a new model, you may have a better chance of scoring a better deal.

If all you need is a long bed with simple hauling capabilities, a base model 2WD may be fine for what you need.

Finally, you’re going to have to be patient. You may need to cast a wider net than you normally would when shopping for a used car. Check out your local dealerships for pre-owned inventory, used car lots, Craigslist, and other local classifieds. Sometimes taking a trip out to the more rural parts of town will turn up an old truck with a “For Sale” sign posted.

While prices are crazy, you’ll need to determine what the truck is worth. Be sure to still do you homework: Decode the VIN, order a vehicle history report, and get all the information you can about the condition and background for the vehicle.