I Want A Beater Truck.

toyota.jpgWe moved a bunch of our stuff over to the new house today, after borrowing our friend’s truck. It was a great little early-90s Toyota Pickup (that’s really what the model was called – “Pickup”) with 150k miles, manual transmission, and not much else. I’ve always wanted a little beater truck to refine my stick-driving skills and to have a 4WD vehicle to ride to the slopes, in addition to all the other useful things a truck offers.

To be sure, it would just be an expensive toy. And yes, I’d have to pay extra for gas, insurance, and any possible repairs. But I imagine I could find one for about $2,000, play with it for a year, and resell it with very little depreciation. Or I might even be tempted to trade in my current car. And even my wife seemed open to the idea… I think because her dad loves trucks too.


  1. Bigmouth says:

    i am also thinking about a beat up toyota or nissan small truck just to move stuff around. But remember, once you got your truck, there will be always people trying to borrow it…

  2. I owned 2 pickups previously, trading the last one in last fall for economic & convenience reasons. 3 months ago we purchased a house and I’ve now decided that every homeowner needs a beater truck, if only for the 3-times-a-week runs to Lowe’s and Home Depot. My first truck was a Dakota w/ a 6.5′ bed – it would be ideal for me now.

    Costs on an older beater truck should be minimal – regular maintenance, gas & registration. Insurance shouldn’t be bad at all. Don’t bother with collision, just carry liability and anything else your state requires. Put it on the insurance as you’re not driving it to work, ever (assuming it’s not your primary vehicle).

    I wouldn’t call it an expensive toy – it’s quite practical. You can’t put 500 pounds of mulch in the trunk of your Grand Prix or Sentra.

  3. Bigmouth – I believe that is called Karma 🙂

    Yes, after thinking about it some more, it wouldn’t be that bad at all. I’d be driving it instead of my other car, so the gas shouldn’t be that bad. As a 3rd car for 2 people, liability-only insurance will be a couple hundred dollars a year (I’ll ask). Registration is another couple hundred dollars.

    I’d definitely try to get a Toyota, those engines are good for 300k+ if you treat them right.

  4. I temporarily had my old beater on my insurance policy (liability only) for $120ish/year in SoCal — they had marked it to 1000mi/year.

  5. I can’t count the number of times I have had to borrow my brother’s Dodge Dakota since we bought the house. Now we have the dreaded minivan, just a couple of weeks old. Still can’t use it for yard work though.

  6. You wouldn’t actually end up paying extra for gas, just insurance and repairs. After all, you’re not planning on driving two cars at once, are you? And yes, I’d love to have a beater truck myself — the only problem is that the guy with the truck is always the one who gets stuck helping his friends move.

  7. I bought a 2003 Ford Ranger FFV in January from Carmax (wimpymax for guys who hate haggling). Anyway, I could already tell at that time that price appreciation for smaller trucks had set in. Basically no one wants the big V8 trucks. They are selling for the SAME PRICE as the little trucks. Gorgeous

  8. The gas mileage on those is good. That was what my husband drove from about 92 to 2003. The gas mileage was still in the high 20s/low 30s.

  9. John Peroyea says:

    I have a great truck that you can buy! Check it out here: http://dallas.craigslist.org/car/176612071.html

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