Home / The Best Cars for Every Budget / The Best Used Trucks under $15,000

 

Trucks are the workhorses of the world. As such, they have come to command quite a premium these days. Seriously, even with inflation factored in, our grandfathers would be astounded at how much today’s trucks cost–even a base model pick-up can cost more than $30,000 new. The used truck market can also be a bit pricey because of the value that many people place on a good-running truck. Here are a few of the better performing trucks available on the used market for less than 15 grand.

Ford

Ford has had the top spot in the truck market for decades. The F-150 rules the full-sized segment, while the Ranger topped sales in the light truck category until it was discontinued. You can find a modestly equipped 2005 Ranger XL with acceptable mileage for under $8,000, so it fits into our price point easily. The F-150 holds its value very well, but you can find a good low mileage example of the 2010 XL 2WD for around $14,000. If you need a SuperCab or 4WD, then you may have to fall back to a 2006 model.

Chevy/GMC

Most experienced truck buyers know that these are pretty much the same vehicle with different badges on them, so why not lump them together? The 1500 series, despite which badge it carries, is a reliable vehicle that performs well under load or as a daily driver. You can find a 2011 Silverado 1500 W/T on most lots for around $14,000. The same goes for a similarly equipped Sierra 1500.

Some people prefer light trucks and Chevy has a great entry in that category. The Colorado offers decent fuel economy for the class coupled with dependability and safety. You can find a base Colorado LT with fewer than 40,000 miles for around $14,000 in most markets across the U.S.

Dodge

Dodge offers one pick-up truck, the Ram 1500. The brand had been struggling with poor styling and a lack of power until it was restyled in the late 90s. The restyling included improved performance in towing and overall power. You can easily find a 2010 Ram 1500 ST for less than $12,000. You will not get a Hemi for that price, though. As a point of interest, in 2010 Ram was spun off as a separate entity from Dodge. That does not affect the value of the truck, but knowing that will make it easier if you want to research the value of a truck newer than the 2011 model year.

Toyota

Toyota really paved the way for non-domestic pickup trucks with the T100, the Tacoma, and later the Tundra.  The Tacoma is a midsize truck with a V6 long-touted for its reliability at well over 100,000 miles. As an around-town truck with respectable light- to mid-duty chops, it’s a hard truck to beat, and you can easily find a late-model, well-optioned example for less than $15,000.

The full-size Tundra was introduced in model year 2000 to great applause, winning Motor Trend‘s 2000 Truck of the Year Award. For the budget-conscious buyer, the second-gen models (2007 to 2013) can be had for less than $15,000, though at the newer end of this range 4WD and top-line engine options may spike the price out of budget.

Nissan

Nissan may not be the first automaker that you think of when you are considering trucks, but the company offers a full-size and a light truck that are tough and dependable, two qualities that everyone wants in a pick-up. The Titan offers the additional bonus of having the largest cab in the industry. You can find a 2010 King Cab with a 6 ½ foot bed for around $13,000.

If you are more interested in a light to midsize truck, the Frontier is a great option. A base 2010 Frontier XE with a 6 ft. bed will come in under $11,000. As long as you stick to the base model, you can look at a 2012 and still meet the 15 grand price point.

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