The Best Used Trucks To Buy On A Budget

The Best Used Trucks To Buy On A Budget

You need a truck. You work hard, and you need a vehicle that can keep up with the demands of the working day. You’re looking for something that is just as dependable and capable as you are. The problem is, you don't want to break the bank.

That's understandable. The smell of a new truck is something special, but it's not worth paying a premium for. The answer? Hit the used market. For a fraction of the cost of a new Ford F-150, you can get yourself a load-hauling, trailer-towing, all-terrain beast. 

To give you some inspiration, we’ve listed some of the best used trucks under $25,000. From the ultra reliable Toyota Tacoma, to the all-American Ram 1500, there’s something for everyone.

2015 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner (from $23,000)

2015 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner (from $23,000)

Let's start with the 2015 Toyota Tacoma. Although a bargain, you pay a premium here for the relatively recent vintage, as well as the comparatively low number of miles on the odometer.

But that's not all. Remember, this is a Toyota, and the Tacoma is legendary for its durability and unbelievable reliability. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Remember, this is the same company that created the iconic (and, frankly, indestructible) Hilux.

Admittedly, that Tacoma is not one of the more powerful trucks on the market. Towing and hauling capabilities are limited by its relatively under powered 2.7L 4-cylinder engine, which delivers 159HP and 180lbs of torque. Similarly, its rear wheel drive powertrain may struggle to tackle steep hills and off-road tracks. However, it redeems itself with fairly decent fuel economies, hitting 19MPG in the city and 24MPG on the highway. 

Keeping with form, the Tacoma has a relatively spartan interior, touting cloth seats and a plastic trim that’s unlikely to win any beauty competitions. The PreRunner variant doesn’t have much in the way of entertainment, although its USB input and Bluetooth connectivity will allow you to listen to your own music and take important work calls in the absence of modern niceties like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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2015 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner (from $23,000)

Let's start with the 2015 Toyota Tacoma. Although a bargain, you pay a premium here for the relatively recent vintage, as well as the comparatively low number of miles on the odometer.

But that's not all. Remember, this is a Toyota, and the Tacoma is legendary for its durability and unbelievable reliability. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Remember, this is the same company that created the iconic (and, frankly, indestructible) Hilux.

Admittedly, that Tacoma is not one of the more powerful trucks on the market. Towing and hauling capabilities are limited by its relatively under powered 2.7L 4-cylinder engine, which delivers 159HP and 180lbs of torque. Similarly, its rear wheel drive powertrain may struggle to tackle steep hills and off-road tracks. However, it redeems itself with fairly decent fuel economies, hitting 19MPG in the city and 24MPG on the highway. 

Keeping with form, the Tacoma has a relatively spartan interior, touting cloth seats and a plastic trim that’s unlikely to win any beauty competitions. The PreRunner variant doesn’t have much in the way of entertainment, although its USB input and Bluetooth connectivity will allow you to listen to your own music and take important work calls in the absence of modern niceties like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Toyota Tacoma

2017 Ford F-150 XL (from $25,000)

2017 Ford F-150 XL (from $25,000)

It's a little surprising to find a recent model Ford F-150 here. There are older models with more miles on the odometer that cost more. So, what gives?

Well, this is the three-seater version. As is the case across the board, single-cab trucks dramatically undersell those with two (and sometimes three) rows of seats. There is a good reason for that. Trucks aren't just used for work. For many people, they’re also their primary mode of transportation, used from school runs to weekend trips to the mall.

Still, if you are willing to overlook this, you can find yourself a bargain. Although this model comes with a rear-wheel drivetrain, it also ships with a beefy 3.5L V6 engine, which delivers 282HP and 253lbs of torque. In practice, this means it can haul and tow relatively heavy loads. 

Fuel economy is also quite good, although with the caveat that we’re talking about trucks here. You can expect to get 18MPG in the city, and 25MPG on the open road. Still, the interior experience leaves much to be desired. As an entry-level model, its entertainment capabilities are capped at an AM/FM radio and AUX-in. 

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2017 Ford F-150 XL (from $25,000)

It's a little surprising to find a recent model Ford F-150 here. There are older models with more miles on the odometer that cost more. So, what gives?

Well, this is the three-seater version. As is the case across the board, single-cab trucks dramatically undersell those with two (and sometimes three) rows of seats. There is a good reason for that. Trucks aren't just used for work. For many people, they’re also their primary mode of transportation, used from school runs to weekend trips to the mall.

Still, if you are willing to overlook this, you can find yourself a bargain. Although this model comes with a rear-wheel drivetrain, it also ships with a beefy 3.5L V6 engine, which delivers 282HP and 253lbs of torque. In practice, this means it can haul and tow relatively heavy loads. 

Fuel economy is also quite good, although with the caveat that we’re talking about trucks here. You can expect to get 18MPG in the city, and 25MPG on the open road. Still, the interior experience leaves much to be desired. As an entry-level model, its entertainment capabilities are capped at an AM/FM radio and AUX-in. 

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
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No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Ford F-150

2015 RAM 1500 (from $24,000)

2015 RAM 1500 (from $24,000)

Let's move onto another American icon, this time General Motors’ venerable RAM 1500 Lone Star. Although priced within reach of the aforementioned Ford F-150 XL, this is a significantly larger beast, with generous levels of room for six people.

Performance is a priority here, and the RAM 1500 packs a formidable 3.6L V6 engine with undeniable hauling and towing performance. It delivers 305HP and 269lbs of torque. In terms of fuel burn, you can expect 17 MPG in the city and 25MPG on the highway. Refreshingly, it is also well equipped with technology that promises to make the working day easier, if not a little bit more fun. 

Reversing into tight parking spots is simplified thanks to its integrated reverse camera, and its universal garage door opener will make the return home at the end of the day feel that little bit sweeter. The included remote ignition will save you time between deliveries and jobs, and the included Wi-Fi and satellite radio will keep your colleagues quiet, letting you focus on the road ahead.

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2015 RAM 1500 (from $24,000)

Let's move onto another American icon, this time General Motors’ venerable RAM 1500 Lone Star. Although priced within reach of the aforementioned Ford F-150 XL, this is a significantly larger beast, with generous levels of room for six people.

Performance is a priority here, and the RAM 1500 packs a formidable 3.6L V6 engine with undeniable hauling and towing performance. It delivers 305HP and 269lbs of torque. In terms of fuel burn, you can expect 17 MPG in the city and 25MPG on the highway. Refreshingly, it is also well equipped with technology that promises to make the working day easier, if not a little bit more fun. 

Reversing into tight parking spots is simplified thanks to its integrated reverse camera, and its universal garage door opener will make the return home at the end of the day feel that little bit sweeter. The included remote ignition will save you time between deliveries and jobs, and the included Wi-Fi and satellite radio will keep your colleagues quiet, letting you focus on the road ahead.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used RAM 1500

2016 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner (from $24,000)

2016 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner (from $24,000)

Whoever said space is the final frontier never told Nissan. This truck is a utilitarian but hardy contender in a field of compelling vehicles, and worthy of its place on this list. 

The 2016 Nissan Frontier wins points for its potent 4L V6 engine, which has solid work credentials, delivering a respectable 261HP and 281lbs of torque. Sadly, it struggles on the fuel efficiency front, with an EPA rating of 16MPG in the city and a dismal 22MPG on the highway. 

But, that's easy to overlook when you consider its decent track record for reliability, which rivals that of the aforementioned Tacoma. Although relatively light on the technological side, there’s a decent array of bells-and-whistles to keep you entertained, from satellite radio to Bluetooth and USB inputs.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
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2016 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner (from $24,000)

Whoever said space is the final frontier never told Nissan. This truck is a utilitarian but hardy contender in a field of compelling vehicles, and worthy of its place on this list. 

The 2016 Nissan Frontier wins points for its potent 4L V6 engine, which has solid work credentials, delivering a respectable 261HP and 281lbs of torque. Sadly, it struggles on the fuel efficiency front, with an EPA rating of 16MPG in the city and a dismal 22MPG on the highway. 

But, that's easy to overlook when you consider its decent track record for reliability, which rivals that of the aforementioned Tacoma. Although relatively light on the technological side, there’s a decent array of bells-and-whistles to keep you entertained, from satellite radio to Bluetooth and USB inputs.

30-Day warranty
Free 7-day return
Free 7-day trial return
30-days warranty
No-Contact Test Drives
No-Contact Test Drives
Shop Used Nissan Frontier

Conclusion

If you run your own business, you know the importance of keeping a healthy balance sheet. Buying used is one way to get a great truck, while also keeping an eye on the pennies. And there are a great variety of options available, from the compact single-cab Ford F-150 to the hardy Toyota Tacoma. 

When shopping for your next truck with Shift, you can be certain of a great deal. Our no-haggle prices are simple and transparent, and all vehicles undergo a 150-point test by one of our trained mechanics. And because time is money, there are no dealerships to go to. You can find and pay for your next truck from the comfort of your own home.

All our vehicles come with a seven-day money back guarantee, and our Shift Certified inventory is backed with a free 30-day warranty. To find your next ride, click here

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Author
Shift Editorial Team