Trucks in used car lot, Roswell, New Mexico

Cheap Used Pickup Trucks

You don't have to break the bank to buy a decent pickup truck.

Year after year, Americans buy hundreds of thousands of pickups – foreign and Domestic – and that means there are lots of used models available for good prices on the used market. We searched high and low for relatively nice trucks, and this is what we found.

Click on the image above for 10 great used pickup truck bargains for $5,000 or less.

2002 Ford F-150 pickup truck in green

2002 Ford F-150

The Ford F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle for as long as many of us have been alive. If you play your cards right, you can find a pretty nice V8-powered truck in good condition for less than $5,000... as long as you don't mind driving a vehicle that's several generations old, like this 2002 model.

Click here for more used Ford pickup trucks for $5,000 or less.

2001 Dodge Ram 2500 in white with Cummins diesel engine

2001 Dodge Ram 2500

Even if you need something heavy-duty, you can score a decent used vehicle for $5,000. A little bit of searching found this 2001 Dodge Ram 2500, which features a durable and powerful Cummins diesel engine.

Click here for more used Dodge pickup trucks for $5,000 or less.

2005 Dodge Dakota with V8 engine

2005 Dodge Dakota

The Dodge Dakota, offered from 1987 through 2011, was the largest so-called midsize pickup truck over the course of its life. Though it's no longer offered for sale, there are always plenty of Dakotas available on the used market, such as this V8-powered model from 2005.

Click here for more used Dodge pickup trucks for $5,000 or less.

1999 Ford Ranger single cab in green

1999 Ford Ranger

They may not all be as pristine as this low-mileage example from 1999, but with so many Ford Rangers sold over its life – it was available between 1982 and 2012 in North America – just a little sleuthing ought to turn up a nice model well under our self-imposed $5,000 limit. The Ranger got its last meaningful update way back in 1998, so any truck from that year or newer ought to be a reasonable choice.

Click here for more used Ford pickup trucks for $5,000 or less.

2010 Chevy Colorado Work Truck in white

2010 Chevy Colorado

There's a brand-new Chevy Colorado filling the large vacant midsize-truck-size hole in the US market for 2015, but if you don't need such a new pickup, examples like this 2010 Chevy Colorado Work Truck can be had for cheap. The locking side compartments are a nice touch.

Click here for more used Chevy pickup trucks for $5,000 or less.

2001 GMC Sierra in silver

2001 GMC Sierra

Here's a nice 2001 GMC Sierra for sale, complete with a V8 engine and extra seating behind the first row for additional passengers or storage that's free from the outdoors. A Chevy Silverado is roughly the same truck, and will cost roughly the same amount of money.

Click here for more used GMC pickup trucks for $5,000 or less.

2001 Nissan Frontier in maroon

2001 Nissan Frontier

It's not quite as easy to find Japanese pickup trucks in decent condition with relatively low mileage as it is something from a Domestic automaker, but if you look hard enough, deals can be found. Take a look at this 2001 Nissan Frontier, for instance. It may not boast the towing or hauling prowess of a fullsize truck, but its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is sure to return much better fuel economy than the six- and eight-cylinder trucks we've shown you so far.

Click here for more used Nissan pickup trucks for $5,000 or less.

2000 Toyota Tundra in white

2000 Toyota Tundra

If you want any pickup truck from Toyota, you're going to have to look pretty hard to fit under our $5,000 price limit. We located this 2000 Tundra after quite a bit of searching, which means it can be done, if you're willing to accept higher mileage and are willing to travel to find your perfect used car.

Click here for more used Toyota pickup trucks for $5,000 or less.

1996 Toyota Tacoma in white

1996 Toyota Tacoma

Most of the Toyota Tacoma models you'll find on the used market for $5,000 or less will have high mileage. This 1996 model shows 166,000 miles on its odometer, which is the lowest we could find in our price range.

Click here for more used Toyota pickup trucks for $5,000 or less.

1982 VW Rabbit Pickup in off-white

1982 VW Pickup

In the market for something completely different? We like your style. Take a look at this 1982 VW Rabbit pickup. It's 1.7-liter four-cylinder engine has 150,000 miles on the clock and won't get you anywhere fast, but at least you'll look cool along the way. Plus, at $3,463, this vintage Rabbit is the cheapest truck on our list.

Click here for more used VW pickup trucks for $5,000 or less.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 55 Comments
      JayP
      • 16 Days Ago
      Rangers- for the 4 cylinders, 2001 was the changeover from the 2.5 to the 2.3 16v. People can argue but I've had good luck with the 16v. Except for letting an inept shop tell me a head gasket was blown, the truck has not been too bad. I can change about everything out with handtools. Parts are a snap to get from Autozone. Gets 26mpg and keeps up with traffic easily. I bought it for $5k with 80k miles on it. I've driven 160k on it myself. It would take more than $5k to have me part with it now.
      diferree
      • 15 Days Ago
      at the rate of a new truck 70.000 we'll all be driving used vehicles soon
        bgskudlarek
        • 15 Days Ago
        @diferree
        I have a 67 Chevie half ton that my husband and I bought in 1973. It has 108,000 miles on it and still runs. I still use it for getting fencing and hauling mower in for repairs. No air except 2/55 but still a good old truck.
          Isky
          • 14 Days Ago
          @bgskudlarek
          Haven't seen "2/55" in a long time!
        NicktheMan
        • 15 Days Ago
        @diferree
        Well, before the auto bailout, GM workers were getting $62.00 and hour with benefits. I shudder to think what they get now!
          b.rn
          • 15 Days Ago
          @NicktheMan
          I'd like to see your sources on that $62/hour pay rate. I suspect it's what a worker cost GM, not what a worker makes. I'm not saying this site is 100% accurate, but it gives you an idea as to how the math really works: http://www.factcheck.org/2008/12/auto-worker-salaries/
          Rodney
          • 15 Days Ago
          @NicktheMan
          Almost all GM employees laid off, Cars not less
      Bruce Lee
      • 16 Days Ago
      Yeah, before you buy that 2002 F-150 I'd watch this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i5EmJBaGeQ
        AMG4Life69
        • 15 Days Ago
        @Bruce Lee
        I was just about to reference that.
        BWJeep13
        • 15 Days Ago
        @Bruce Lee
        There's one issue with this test. It doesn't represent the entire lineup. The supercab had no B pillar. That made this version weak. Notice the regular cab and the supercrew were never tested. My guess is they come out much better.
        The_Zachalope
        • 15 Days Ago
        @Bruce Lee
        I'll go with a firsthand experience. I was in a angle front impact accident in a '99 F-150 (got hit at 50mph) and we all got out with minor scrapes and bruises. The truck was totaled, but the passenger cabin was still in good shape.
      diferree
      • 15 Days Ago
      at the rate of a new truck 70.000 we'll all be driving used vehicles soon
      Kenny Ray Slaughenha
      • 15 Days Ago
      You couldn't take my 99 ranger from me if you pried it from my cold dead hands. its the best truck I have ever owned. The 3.2 liter has plenty of power but yet still small enough that it gets great highway miles to gallon.
        Wayne
        • 15 Days Ago
        @Kenny Ray Slaughenha
        Might want to become one with your truck. You do not have a 3.2 L anything Ford. 2.3 L 4 cyl, 3.0 L V-6, or 4.0 L Big V-6. Those are the options!!!
      goodgrief61945
      • 15 Days Ago
      A 15 year old pickup truck is a "dream vehicle" ??
      John
      • 13 Days Ago
      old chevy pickup
      Carpinions
      • 16 Days Ago
      I did not know the older Colorado W/T had a feature like that, that's pretty sweet. I've never seen one of those. Not sure which of these I'd take. I've heard the old GMT800 Silverado/Sierras with Quadrasteer are quite good...but they easily are in the mid-teens used, even being 12+ years old. Most of the ones I can find look like they've been babied, though. You could also get Quadrasteer Suburbans/Yukon XLs, so I'd probably get that for its ability to be both a tow machine and an all-weather bus.
        Jaylgo
        • 16 Days Ago
        @Carpinions
        I prefer the ford ranger. Where I work we used to have a older Colorado, suck. The company got rid of it for a new bigger Colorado. I still prefer the ranger.
        Jaylgo
        • 16 Days Ago
        @Carpinions
        I prefer the ford ranger. Where I work we used to have a older Colorado, suck. The company got rid of it for a new bigger Colorado. I still prefer the ranger.
      carnut0913
      • 16 Days Ago
      I wouldnt be so sure about the fuel economy on the nissan. my dad traded a 90s nissan for a 2002 f150 and got better mileage with the ford
      diferree
      • 15 Days Ago
      at the rate of a new truck 70.000 we'll all be driving used vehicles soon
      Jim R
      • 16 Days Ago
      1. Toyota Tacoma. 2. Toyota Tacoma. 3. Toyota Tacoma. 4. Toyota Tacoma. 5. Toyota Tacoma. 6. Toyota Tacoma. 7. Toyota Tacoma. 8. Toyota Tacoma. 9. Toyota Tacoma. 10. Toyota Tacoma. For that kind of money, you're probably looking at a 10+ year old truck. Domestics are falling to pieces at that point, so if you can't spend at least $10K on a pickup, buy the one that runs forever--get a Toyota.
        crosscon
        • 16 Days Ago
        @Jim R
        Nonsense. There are tens of thousands of older GM trucks driving around everyday with 300,000 miles or more.
          roaddog97d
          • 15 Days Ago
          @crosscon
          Your right Jim. I have a ``93 Chevy 1500 V/6. It has 334,000 miles and still going strong. DON`T use oil and NEWER had freon added and A/C still blows cold air.
        Stephen B.
        • 15 Days Ago
        @Jim R
        Thats nuts, I have two doges. A 96 with half a million miles on it. Never had a major problem and no rust. I used it to plow for over 10 years and its still driven daily and still looks good. My 2004 has 175000 on it and its still a great truck with more power then one would ever need with the hemi. Just because you like the foreign trucks does not mean you have to be so negative about american made trucks.
          jtav2002
          • 15 Days Ago
          @Stephen B.
          Yep, I'm on my second Toyota truck, but have no issues with other brands and happen to like most of the trucks on the market. Idiot fanboys make all of us Toyota owners look stupid. We really aren't. lol
        Dave
        • 16 Days Ago
        @Jim R
        1. Rusted Frame. 2. Rusted Frame 3. Rusted Frame. 4. Rusted Rocker Panels. 5. Rusted Rocker Panels 6. Rusted Tailgate. 7. Rusted Bed. 8. Rusted Frame (again). 9. Bent valves from broken timing belt 10. One of the above.
          The Friendly Grizzly
          • 16 Days Ago
          @Dave
          The timing belt issue can be prevented if the belt is changed when called for in the maintenance chart. But, there are also many other trucks available that use chain-driven cams, so why bother with a belt cam? This is especially a good question for fleet operators that run their trucks hard, and far. A truck off the road for a maintenance step that is time-consuming, compared with a truck that needs no such item in the first place, is something any fleet manager will take into consideration. Besides, there is NO excuse for engineering an engine where a belt failure causes valve bending or piston cracking. Non-interference designs - good ones - can be done easily. Toyota chose not to do so.
        Montie
        • 16 Days Ago
        @Jim R
        Correction, if you want a truck with a rusty frame, buy a Toyota Tacoma.
          Tom
          • 16 Days Ago
          @Montie
          Exactly this. It's a PITA to do a frame replacement on a Toyota, and if it ever saw salt in its life anywhere, it will need to be done. I can go to any junkyard in my area and grab a V8 gas engine for $100, and throw it in any of the US trucks, if for some reason they actually died. I'd rather do that than have to replace the frame on a Toyota.
          The Friendly Grizzly
          • 16 Days Ago
          @Montie
          SquareFour: there is something called QC, or Quality Control. Toyota accepted those frames from Dana and used them. Either Dana cheated and Toyota missed it, or Dana made what Toyota spec'd.
          SquareFour
          • 16 Days Ago
          @Montie
          Guess who was at fault for that rusty frame? Dana, an American company. Ain't that the shits? LOL Pre-Tacoma Toyota pickups didn't have that particular frame issue, but their bodies sure as shit did.
        jtav2002
        • 15 Days Ago
        @Jim R
        As a former Tacoma owner and current Tundra owner, I still disagree. First you're not getting a Taco for that price. Second, I'd definitely take an old GM truck. Sure, Toyotas will run for hundreds of thousands of miles, but there are probably just as many old GM trucks with just as many miles.
        reattadudes
        • 16 Days Ago
        @Jim R
        ...and the timing belt breaks, requiring the replacement of a VERY expensive import engine. or the engine oil passages clog, due to a manufacturing defect in the PCV system. "domestics are falling to pieces at this point". although I'm no Ford fan, a good friend's 2001 F-150 is still going strong at 510,000 miles, with neither the engine or transmission rebuilt. my fleet of 2006 Ram pickups (8) have well over 600,000 miles on the clock, again with nothing rebuilt. "falling to pieces", indeed.
          Jaylgo
          • 16 Days Ago
          @reattadudes
          That's in your own little world. You sound like a 15 year old telling lies. I work on a auto parts store. The rams are the first ones to break, (head gaskets). Ford are much better than the ram but the fords are known to crack the heads. GM probably the best one out of the 3. Toyota Tacoma is in par with GM. I honestly prefer to change a timing belt than a head gasket or a cracked head.
        Randy
        • 16 Days Ago
        @Jim R
        You need some education on quality. Ford and General Motors vehicles from 96 up are largely rock solid. Then from about 2001 Dodge trucks get good too.
          Randy
          • 16 Days Ago
          @Randy
          Vehicles=trucks..... And BTW the difference between the best and worst vehicles these days equates to a fraction of a repair. Buy what you like.... I prefer Ford
        Wayne
        • 15 Days Ago
        @Jim R
        Never saw a $5000 Toyota Truck....oh yeah an 83 model.....oops wait it just bumped over $5000 on Ebay.
      clusins
      • 15 Days Ago
      I have a 2000 Dodge Ram Dullie with 72k miles on the Cummins. Little rust, interior great shape. I have been offered $15K due to the engine. Great truck and can still pull like the day we got it.
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