Pickup trucks used to be something that farmers or construction workers primarily used.
These days, it’s not uncommon to see a pickup truck cruising through busy city streets.
Even people who don’t use the beds of their trucks for anything might have a pickup truck.
If you’ve been thinking of buying a pickup truck yourself, you might feel a bit surprised by how expensive they are when compared to other cars.
You may wonder what it is about pickup trucks that make them so expensive.
Why Are Pickup Trucks So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
The average price of a new pickup truck ranges from $55,000 to $60,000 with some models costing even more.
Pickup trucks are expensive due to the costs of their manufacturing, the surge in demand and popularity, the brand name associated with the truck, and how much customization the owner wants with their truck.
Let’s look at these and other factors in more detail.
1. Advanced Safety Features
Pickup trucks are massive compared to everyday city cars.
They’re built with hard work in mind.
Because they’re primarily used in heavy-duty zones, there are plenty of opportunities for accidents to occur.
Although a pickup truck won’t cause quite the same damage as a semi-truck in an accident, it can still cause a lot of damage.
As such, manufacturers put a lot of cost and effort into making advanced safety features.
A lot of work, for example, goes into lane collision avoidance and front-end protection.
The manufacturers will use high-quality materials at the front end to protect the driver and important parts of the engine.
Should a front-end accident occur, the pickup truck has a greater chance of surviving.
Other manufacturers spend a lot of time focusing on safety technology.
With lane assistance and trailer sway control, they want to prevent accidents before they can occur.
That requires a lot of sophisticated tinkering and parts, too.
Since the manufacturing costs of providing advanced safety features are higher, the price of the truck is more expensive.
Pickup trucks are expensive because they feature advanced safety technology.
2. High-End Materials And Material Costs
Pickup trucks are best known for their ability to haul heavy loads.
While they can’t carry quite as much as a semi-truck, they have a pretty decent ability to pull heavy trailers and loads.
They can’t manage to do that with just any materials.
They need high-end and high-quality materials.
As such, manufacturers also spend a good amount of money on sourcing high-quality materials.
Some manufacturers use aluminum which can sometimes be cheaper than steel, but that’s only when the price isn’t fluctuating.
When aluminum prices are high, then pickup truck prices are high.
Other manufacturers use steel since it’s an extremely strong material.
It ensures that the truck can pull a heavy load without breaking apart.
Steel is a bit more expensive than aluminum.
Other parts of the truck might contain even more advanced materials which come at higher costs.
Essentially, the more durable and strong the truck is, the more expensive it is to make.
Since the manufacturing costs are higher, the price of the truck is also higher.
Pickup trucks are expensive because they use expensive high-end or high-quality materials in their manufacturing.
3. Larger And More Powerful Engines
In order to provide the power that a pickup truck needs to haul heavy loads, it needs a powerful engine.
You can find some pretty heavy-duty and sophisticated engines in pickup trucks.
The kind of materials and engineering that go into those engines isn’t cheap.
For one, the manufacturer needs to source the materials.
A cheap engine won’t last long in a pickup truck that’s used for work.
A consumer who buys that truck and has it break down shortly after purchasing it isn’t going to be happy.
That can impact the brand’s reputation which can seriously harm the business.
As such, manufacturers incur extra costs to ensure they’re getting the best materials possible to make their engines.
Engineering is another cost for them.
If they want to stand out from the competition, then they need the best engineers working on their engines.
Those engineers are expensive to employ as well.
The end result is a pickup truck that has a great engine.
However, that also means the engine is going to make the pickup truck that much more expensive.
Pickup trucks are expensive because their large and powerful engines are expensive to make.
4. Advanced Powertrain
While an engine is important in delivering power to your pickup truck, it isn’t the only part involved in pushing your truck forward.
The powertrain is one of the most important parts of a pickup truck.
If a truck doesn’t have a high-quality powertrain, then it isn’t going to be that helpful on the job.
A powertrain consists of various parts.
Some of the most important parts include the following:
Each part works with all the others to propel the truck forward.
If even one part isn’t working well, then it can decrease the amount of overall power your truck has.
As such, manufacturers have to spend a lot of effort and money on making an advanced powertrain system.
They simply can’t skimp on even one part.
Everything needs to be high-quality.
That results in a pretty expensive powertrain.
However, it also means that the truck can tow heavier loads.
For some drivers, having an expensive powertrain is worth the extra cost since it makes their job easier.
If you want a high-quality powertrain, then you’re going to need to pay extra for it.
Pickup trucks are expensive because they have high-quality and expensive powertrains to grant them extra towing power.
5. Truck Size
The size of the truck also determines its price.
Pickup trucks have a reputation for being quite large, but some are larger than others.
For example, you have pickup trucks that are the standard size, but then you also have pickup trucks that come in XL sizes or even XXL sizes.
These trucks are typically suited for towing large or heavy trailers.
The problem with these trucks is that they’re often used in the city, too.
They can take up a lot of space on city streets when they’re not exactly meant for city use.
You’ll often find that XL trucks are more expensive than standard-sized pickup trucks.
That’s because it requires more materials to make them.
The bigger the truck is, the more materials the manufacturer needs to produce it.
Everything from the exterior of the truck to the various parts linking it all together requires more materials.
As such, the cost of producing a large pick-up truck is expensive.
When you buy an XL pickup truck, you’re essentially covering the extra costs that the manufacturer took on by building it bigger.
Pickup trucks are expensive because they’re quite large.
6. Brand Name
The brand name of a truck can also greatly influence its price.
There are a few titans when it comes to pickup trucks.
Ford is, perhaps, one of the biggest names when it comes to the pickup truck industry.
It’s built a reputation for itself by producing high-quality trucks that are durable and able to weather tough jobs.
Other companies have started to produce high-quality pickup trucks, too, threatening Ford’s hold on the market.
You may notice that a Ford truck is a bit more expensive than some of the other trucks, however.
That’s because the Ford name carries some weight to it.
It’s been around for over a century and has had a lot of time to build its reputation for producing high-quality trucks and cars.
As such, some people are willing to pay a higher price for their truck with the Ford name on it because they know they’re receiving a high-quality product.
To them, it’s worth the investment.
It’s seen as less of a risk than buying a truck from a brand that has yet to prove itself.
Pickup trucks are expensive when they come from certain brand names.
7. Fuel Efficiency
A lot of pickup truck drivers have become more concerned with fuel efficiency over the years.
While trucks can be powerful vehicles that can make hauling heavy trailers easier, they usually do so at great fuel costs.
Even diesel trucks can be quite expensive to fuel up if diesel prices are high.
As such, a lot of demand from truck drivers has been for pickup trucks that are more fuel efficient.
Manufacturers have heard their demands and have started focusing on fuel-efficient pickup trucks.
While this is great for those who want a more fuel-efficient truck, it also means they’re going to face higher prices on those trucks.
That’s because making something more fuel efficient usually entails higher costs.
The manufacturer will likely need to use more expensive materials to streamline certain aspects of the truck.
Since they’re using more expensive materials, the cost of producing the truck is higher.
To offset those costs, the manufacturer has to sell at higher prices.
Pickup trucks are expensive because making certain models fuel efficient entails higher costs.
8. Environmental Regulation Costs
Another big concern some truck drivers have is the environment.
They’re aware that pickup trucks tend to produce a lot of carbon emissions.
That’s why some want trucks that are more environmentally friendly.
Governments have also put pressure on vehicle manufacturers to make trucks that either reduce carbon emissions or eliminate them entirely.
That makes pickup trucks more expensive because the engineering and material costs are going to be higher.
Manufacturers won’t be able to rely on cheaper production processes or materials if they also produce pollution.
Since they’re taking on higher costs to produce environmentally-friendly trucks, they’re going to sell those trucks at higher prices.
Pickup trucks are expensive because they’re more expensive to make when they’re environmentally friendly.
9. High Demand
Despite their large size, there’s been a lot of demand for pickup trucks.
People enjoy trucks because of their large size and ability to pull heavy loads.
It allows families to haul camper trailers when they go out camping.
It makes moving easier since they can just load up the truck and go.
Others might feel safer in a vehicle that’s taller and bigger than the cars around it.
Whatever the reason, more and more people are buying pickup trucks.
That makes them expensive because it means there’s more demand for them.
When supply can’t quite meet demand, the price of the item increases.
Pickup trucks are expensive because they’re in high demand.
A final reason pickup trucks are expensive is that some people customize them.
They might put big wheels or unique graphics on the truck.
Others might customize the infotainment system inside the truck or change out the seats.
Whatever it is, customized trucks are more expensive than standard trucks.
That’s because it requires the manufacturer or car dealership to spend a bit more time on that truck.
They’re using more resources and putting more costs into the truck to make it perfect for you.
Since they’re taking on higher costs, they’re going to charge you more expensive prices.
Pickup trucks are expensive when you customize them further.NEXT: Does Walmart Install Car Stereos? (2023 Updated)