A Comprehensive Guide to Help You Choose Your Light Truck
At first glance, buying a light truck may seem a lot like buying a car. Pick a color, engine and trim, and you're set, right? But once you consider all the special uses for light trucks and the growing number of styles and options available, you can quickly get lost in the maze of choices.
So, here's how to make truck shopping easier. Read on to learn how to make your selection.
Be prepared with more money
Trucks are expensive. They are versatile vehicles that can offer many of the creature comforts you find in a high-end car. So if you've only owned cars in the past, the price increase will be staggering.
It is best to check your budget before you start choosing specifications for your truck. Even if you plan to finance through a dealership, it is best to get pre-approved financing from a bank, credit union or online lender. Getting pre-approved will set a benchmark for what you can afford and what interest rates you can expect.
If the truck is for work, talk to your company's financial advisor and set a budget for the truck based on the growth projections for your business.
Where you will go
How you plan to use the truck will guide you through many of the subsequent choices. If you plan to make full use of the bed for loading cargo or towing heavy trailers, you may need a larger truck. These answers will help you narrow the choice between two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. For example, if you're towing a boat or motorboat, you may need four-wheel drive to get traction on a slippery boat ramp. Or similarly, if you're planning to do some off-roading, you'll want to focus on a truck with the right tools.
Light, medium or heavy duty
Once you know what you want to tow, find out how much it weighs and make sure to include the weight of the trailer. This information will help you choose between light and heavy duty trucks. In the past, manufacturers rated trucks based on payload: half ton, 3/4 ton, etc. Now, it is more common to hear trucks divided into light, medium and heavy categories.
It's important to size your truck correctly. If you save power, the truck may not be able to deliver what you need. Likewise, if you choose more trucks than you need, it will cost more to buy and fill them up.
If you're unsure of your towing requirements, contact SHANGLONG for spec sheets and towing guidelines.
Bed and Cab Sizes
Most manufacturers offer three to four cab sizes. Crew-cab trucks have four full-size doors and a roomy rear seat that is spacious enough for off-road travel. Double cab trucks also have four doors, but the rear doors are slightly smaller and there is less rear legroom. The smallest truck cabs are regular cabs with only one row of seating and limited space between seats.
Keep in mind that cab size may affect the length of the bed, which is the next choice you will make. To increase bed capacity without increasing the length of the truck, some manufacturers offer optional bed extenders that allow owners to lower the rear fender and use it as bed space.
Special Fees and Provisions
Depending on where you live, choosing a larger truck may require a special permit or require additional fees. For example, in California, even a light pickup truck is considered a commercial vehicle and will be assessed a weight fee of $80 or more - the heavier the truck, the more you pay. Check with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles before locking in your purchase. These fees may not be a deal breaker, but it's good to know what you can expect when you make your purchase.
If you have completed these steps, you should know exactly what truck you need. Now it's time to switch from the research and shopping phase to the buying process, and it's time to contact us for a quote and details.
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