Ten Reasons a 20 Year Old Truck Is More Efficient Than a Prius


Have you ever wondered if you should get rid of your old truck for something smaller and more efficient? Chances are you usually only think about this when you are pumping gas into your truck. Here are ten reasons why you are better off than trading it in for a little gas sipper. If you don’t have a truck, then see below what you are missing out on.

1. No car payment.

That fifty miles per gallon comes with a surcharge of 22,000 dollars for a new Prius. Thanks to their cult-like following used vehicles are commanding nearly the same prices. A 20 year old pickup really, really should be paid off by now. A truck getting 15 mpg will cost 4200 dollars in gas a year; chewing tobacco and cowboy hat are optional.

The Prius uses 1400 dollars worth of gas, and makes a typical monthly payment of 400 for 5 years. (22k + tax + interest / 60 months) My math is terrible and I did not calculate APR, but instead just tacked on interest based on initial loan value, but anyway I digress. Four hundred a month plus gas puts the pick-up cleanly ahead to the tune of 166 dollars a month.

2. Maintenance is cheaper.

I know some of you out there might already be getting defensive and saying that my math will never work because at some point the Prius will be paid off. The current economy has changed things slightly but in my experiences as a mechanic, once the car is out of warranty most drivers will run to the dealer to trade in a vehicle before paying costly repairs. But even if the Prius was paid off, the cost of batteries and labor to repair the vehicle is substantially higher than the truck.

The 20 year old parts are plentiful at the local auto parts store, and are typically much cheaper. A new engine: 600 dollars, new transmission: 400 dollars: differential: 300 dollars. Take care of the engine with proper maintenance and get 200k miles. Replace the transmission every 100k or so, sooner if required. The rear end is good for 400k. The rest of the truck consists of parts that cost less than 100 dollars each.

3. Trucks last forever

Toyota likes to claim that its cars last forever. How many mid 70’s Toyotas are running around? How many mid 70’s Hondas? How many mid 70’s pickups are still running around and being used daily?

4. Insurance is cheaper

An old truck is paid off and the driver is not required to pay for full coverage. Full coverage would not matter anyhow, as any claim whatsoever would likely total the vehicle. For full coverage on the Prius I estimate the figure approximately 400 every 6 months. The truck’s cost I will roughly estimate at 280 or less.

5. No deliver fees. Ever.

As a proud owner of a truck you will not need to pay for delivery of furniture, or lumber, or anything really. A truck can tow a boat, help the cute neighbor move, and haul rocks and dirt. The Prius can fold down the back seat. A truck can carry a Prius.

6. Your kid can fix your truck

A degree in engineering is not required to fix it yourself. A 20 year old vehicle was made in simpler times. Fixing a twenty year old truck is much easier than fixing anything on a Prius. You can fit the trucks motor, plus two small four cylinder engines under the cavernous hood to keep your V8 company. Even if you don’t fix your vehicles yourself, repairs are faster, and cheaper. See number two for parts.

7. Trucks look great

I can appreciate that not everyone loves the look of a truck. I usually don’t consider those people normal, but that isn’t relevant at this point. This is America and people can buy whatever they want. But reason number seven is because the truck has a timeless classic design. The Prius has a timeless interrupted design. Does it look pinched off to anyone else?

8. Traffic

Traffic is easier to navigate with a truck. Sure in the city the Prius will find parking spots easier, and is more maneuverable around tight spots. But the age old rule of bigger is better definitely works with a truck. The added benefit of an old truck is that 20 years worth of rust and dents lend a “I do not have insurance” appearance to the vehicle, thereby causing the smaller vehicles to yield.

9. No Depreciation

A 20 year old truck will never be upside down. It will not depreciate. A 1975 Chevrolet bought today for 2000 dollars will be worth 2000 dollars when you sell it. A Prius also has good resale value due to the cult-like following, but a Prius will still suffer depreciation at some point.

10. Camping

Camping is not only possible in a truck, but there is an entire industry built around the notion. Load up the truck with firewood, beer chest, lawn chairs, spare change of clothes, and some food and meet your buddy at the lake. The same buddy that drove alone in his Prius without wood, lawn chairs, or food, or beer.


In case of the end of the world all drivers, while fleeing from nuclear radiation, zombies, foreign armies, or cross-Canadian bird-pig flu, will inevitably flock to the highways. A truck can take the median, the field, the curb, or the sidewalk. A truck can drive out of situations where it is completely buried in dirt, drive through molten lava without issue, and drive down mountain sides without roads (source: Lone Wolf McQuade, Dante’s Peak, and Commando.)

As you can see a 20 year old truck is clearly superior to a Prius in every way. Not only will you have much more utility with the truck, but it is cheaper to own as well. So I only ask that the next time a Prius blazes down the highway at ludicrous speed, firm in the belief that they are saving the world, take a moment and truly think how much more awesome and efficient your truck is.


Source by Matthew Fuchs

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