A first car is seldom intended to be a driver’s last and only car.
It is a gateway vehicle, designed to both continue the process of learning to drive and to absorb the abuse of inexperience.
Is A Truck A Good First Car?
Trucks, unfortunately, do not provide the safety, maneuverability and stability that a first vehicle must. They are not a good choice for a first car.
Let’s look at the reasons why.
8 Reasons Trucks Are Not Good First Cars
1. Trucks Are Less Stable Than Conventional Cars
Trucks have an uneven distribution of weight.
Their engines are stored in the front, making the back markedly lighter.
As a result, trucks are more likely to fishtail during abrupt stops or on slick roads.
4 wheel drive can help to counter-act this, but even with this precaution, trucks are more unstable than cars.
Additionally, the top-heavy nature of a truck makes it much more likely to experience a single-vehicle accident than a passenger vehicle.
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2. Trucks Take Longer To Stop Than Passenger Vehicles
A truck takes, on average, 525 feet to reach a complete stop.
A passenger vehicle will normally reach a full stop in about 316 feet.
A newer driver, without the benefit of experience, will need a vehicle that can stop quickly if the need arrives.
3. Cars Are Easier To Maneuver And Park
Because cars are smaller and lighter, they are able to move more dexterously.
This is particularly important if a driver is primarily travelling in the city or on highways.
A new driver will have much more success moving through traffic in a smaller vehicle.
Parking is enough of a challenge in and of itself; a first time driver would be wise not to add to the stress with a larger, heavier machine.
Cars can much more easily be manipulated into parking spaces.
4. Passenger Vehicles Are Cheaper To Fuel
It’s entirely possible that a first time driver is an adult with a solvent job and plenty of money to spend on gassing up their car.
But for many buying their first car, money will be an important consideration.
Passenger cars average about 34 miles to the gallon of gas.
Even a light truck only gets about 26 miles per gallon.
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5. Trucks Are More Expensive To Buy
If we continue with the thesis that money is, in fact, a consideration, trucks are more expensive to purchase.
Passenger cars are bought at much higher volumes, and simple supply and demand dictates that as a result, they are cheaper.
To make the general a bit more specific, I’ve cobbled together a chart, comparing the cost of the top safety rated trucks of 2019 versus the top safety rated sedans from 2019.
The criteria is kept the same-the least expensive, no-frills version of each vehicle, bought certified used from a dealer.
|Top Safety Rated Truck 2019||Cost||Top Safety Rated Sedan 2019||Cost|
|Ram 2500 Crew Cab||54,069||Volvo S60||29, 788|
|Ram 1500 Quad Cab||37,0795||Audi S3||39, 202|
|GMC Sierra 1500 Limited Double Cab||39, 091||Audi A3||28, 038|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LD Double Cab||33, 790||BMW 3 S||34, 836|
|GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab||40, 138||Toyota Camry Hybrid LE||26, 980|
6. Trucks Are More Expensive To Insure
There is a marked increase in the cost to insure a truck over a passenger vehicle.
These prices obviously vary from place to place, and can be contingent on whether or not the first time driver is a teen (teen insurance rates are higher), but even so, the standard gap between insuring a car and insuring a truck is 102 dollars per month.
7. Trucks Have Fewer Safety Features Than Passenger Cars
Car manufacturers spend less on advanced safety features in trucks, since they are not typically considered family vehicles.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that fatalities in passenger cars are on the decline, while for trucks, they have been maintained.
Truck manufacturing simply isn’t keeping up with the safety advances being incorporated into passenger vehicles.
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8. Trucks Have More Rollover Related Fatalities Than Passenger Cars
Trucks have a higher center of gravity, which puts them at higher risk for rollover accidents.
Rollovers count for about 30 percent of vehicular fatalities.
Within that framework, 47 percent of those fatalities occurred in light trucks like pickups, versus 22 percent in passenger cars.