A first car is considered a right of passage whether you get your first car at sixteen, twenty-six, or later in life. However, not all cars are ideal for first cars, especially if the driver just recently got their license.
This article will discuss whether a pickup truck is a good first car and things to consider before choosing a pickup as your first vehicle.
Is A Pickup Truck A Good First Car?
Whether a pickup truck is a good first car depends on the person driving the vehicle, as some new drivers may not be able to handle the quirks of pickup truck driving. Pickup trucks can be more difficult to maneuver, park, have larger blind spots, and are heavier so they take longer to come to a complete stop.
Risks Of Driving A Pickup Truck As A First Car
Although pickup trucks can be a great option for some new drivers, they aren’t for everyone. Consider the following risks and downsides of owning a pickup truck as a first car:
Cars that are taller have a higher risk of rolling over with sharp turns. Accordingly, a newer driver will need to be careful and get comfortable with how to turn a pickup truck safely.
Larger Blind Spots
Longer and wider vehicles have larger blind spots. Thus, a large pickup truck will be harder to drive for a new driver because they will have to get used to where the blind spots are and learn to navigate with them.
A wide and long pickup truck can be more difficult to park for a newer driver than a smaller vehicle. You need to keep in mind that a pickup truck may not fit in all parking spots and sometimes may need to take two parking spots if the spots are on the smaller side.
Additionally, there may be some places you can’t park a pickup truck. For example, parking garages that have a low height limit for entry.
More Difficult To Stop
Pickup trucks are generally heavier than cars and SUVs. Accordingly, they will take longer to come to a complete stop. A new driver will need to gauge this distance and keep a safe enough driving distance from other cars to be able to stop in time.
Because pickup trucks are made for hauling, they generally have a more powerful engine. When the truck bed is loaded up this isn’t a problem, but driving with an empty pickup truck is a different experience.
A new driver will need to be aware of the power of their pickup truck when the truck bed is empty and learn how quickly to accelerate.
In certain weather events, like with wet roads or inclement weather, an unprepared driver may accelerate too quickly and lose traction.
Pickup trucks usually have worse gas mileage than sedans and even some SUVs. This isn’t always a bad thing but if the new driver is a younger person who isn’t fully established financially, having a vehicle with bad gas mileage will be more costly to drive.
Pickup trucks handle differently when the truck bed is full versus when the truck bed is empty. A new driver who is using a pickup truck as a daily driver will likely be driving with the truck bed empty more often than full.
As such, the rear of the truck will be much lighter than the front of the truck which can lead to fishtailing under certain conditions. A new driver should be aware of this and tailor their driving style accordingly.
Benefits Of Driving A Pickup Truck As A First Car
Although there are some downsides, there are also some benefits to having a pickup truck as a new car.
Consider the following benefits:
Pickup trucks are made to be tough durable vehicles. As such, they can be a good option for a first car because their size and durability will help keep the new driver safer in the event of an accident.
A pickup truck that has 4WD is beneficial for a first car because it will handle better in all types of weather conditions and provide better traction overall. Keep in mind that some pickup trucks only have 2WD, so be sure to look for 4WD pickup trucks to get this benefit.
Most vehicles can become expensive depending on your choice of options and packages and pickup trucks are no exception to this rule. However, there are some pickup trucks that can be more affordable than sedans.
A brand-new pickup truck can be purchased for prices starting as low as $21k.
Space For Hauling Large Items
For newer drivers that need a lot of space, a pickup truck can be a great option because the truck bed provides more space for hauling things. This could be good for a person who needs to lug larger items on a regular basis.
Better visibility is always a good thing, especially for less experienced drivers. Due to the height of most pickup trucks, they provide better visibility which is great for a first car because the driver can more clearly see dangerous situations ahead.
Top Speed Is Limited
Although pickup trucks are powerful and will accelerate off a stop quickly, they aren’t meant to be driven at really fast speeds. Accordingly, the top speeds of pickup trucks are generally not as high as other types of vehicles.
This is a benefit because new drivers who drive at higher speeds are more likely to get into a dangerous situation where they can’t react quickly enough to prevent an accident.
Ultimately, whether a pickup truck is a good vehicle for a first car will vary between individuals. Some people may not have a problem handling a larger, heavier vehicle with big blind spots, whereas for others it could be a safety risk.
Examine the factors listed above to help you determine whether a pickup truck is a vehicle you want as your first car.