Why Are Toyota Tacomas So Expensive? (4 Reasons)

The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular trucks in the world thanks in part to its excellent durability and ability to hold onto its resale value.

However, If you’ve been looking at buying a new or used Tacoma, you may be wondering why they cost so darn much.

So, why is the Toyota Tacoma so expensive?

Toyota Tacomas are so expensive because they’re incredibly reliable, cheap to maintain, and they hold their value well. These desirable features mean that Tacomas are in high demand and not always easy to come by. This drives the price up.

Read on for a full list of reasons why Tacomas are so expensive, if they’re worth the money, and why used Tacomas are sometimes more expensive than new ones.

Why Are Toyota Tacomas So Expensive? (5 Reasons)

4 Reasons Why Tacomas Are So Expensive

Let’s take a closer look at some of the main reasons why Toyota Tacomas cost so much:

1. They Hold Their Value Well

Toyota Tacomas hold their value extremely well.

In fact, the Tacoma is one of the best vehicles on the road at holding onto its value.

According to CarEdge, the Toyota Tacoma will lose just 28% of its initial value in the first 5 years, which ranks it first in the top 20 cars with the best resale value.

The Tacoma will, on average, hold 71.98% of its resale value after 5 years. In second place is the Jeep Wrangler, which will hold onto 69.14% of its value after 5 years.

This excellent resale value is the reason why used Tacomas look so expensive compared to other trucks that depreciate at a faster rate.

2. They Are In High Demand

Thanks to the Tacomas’ wild popularity among truck enthusiasts, Toyota factories are finding it hard to keep up with demand.

Automotive Industry reports that North American dealerships are really struggling to get their hands on the 2021 Toyota Tacoma.

While the compact truck has always had a loyal customer base, one major reason behind the recent spike in demand is a microchip shortage that could go on for some time.

This setback has hit automakers around the globe and Toyota is no exception.

As a result, Tacoma production has slowed down significantly consequently driving up the price of the popular truck.

3. Their Reliability Is Legendary

Toyota Tacoma’s reputation for durability and reliability is a key factor behind its high price.

According to Consumer Reports, these compact trucks are reliable workhorses that are built to comfortably handle daily tasks and off-road adventures.

With fairly little maintenance, multiple Tacoma owners report clocking upwards of 500K miles with very few serious issues popping up.

This exceptional reliability means that people are more likely to be willing to pay more for new and used Tacomas than they might be for a truck that is less likely to last a long time.

4. They Are Cheap To Maintain

Maintenance costs have a direct impact on a vehicle’s value in the second-hand market.

The greater the future maintenance costs are expected to be, the greater the vehicle’s depreciation will be.

The average annual maintenance cost for the Tacoma is $478 according to RepairPal.

This is far below the average annual repair cost for trucks of all makes and models ($652)

The Tacomas’ cheap maintenance costs mean that it depreciates less than other trucks, which creates even more demand on the second-hand market.

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Why Are Used Tacomas More Expensive than New Ones?

Previously owned Tacomas are at times more expensive than the models entering the market due to declining reliability scores.

A fairly recent decision by Toyota to redesign the compact truck unfortunately made newer Tacomas less reliable.

According to Consumer Reports, when Toyota redesigned the Tacoma back in 2016, its reliability fell considerably from its previously perfect scores.

Owners of newer models report several issues among them poor ride quality, rattling or squeaky panels, and poor cabin insulation.

Higher consumer ratings can make some older used Tacomas more expensive than new ones.

Are Tacomas Worth The Money?

If you’re looking for a reliable and dependable truck that you can drive for a few hundred thousand miles without having any major issues, then a new Toyota Tacoma is definitely worth the money.

Add to this the fact that Tacomas have the best resale value in the midsize truck category as well as relatively solid gas mileage and you can’t really go wrong.

Buying a 2-3-year-old Tacoma is where you will find the best value. Just make sure that you avoid the less desirable Tacoma years.

Buying new is never a wise choice if money is a concern for you because all new vehicles depreciate the fastest in the first few years.

However, According to Kelley Blue Book, the Toyota Tacoma has the best resale value of any mid-size pickup truck on the market.

So, if you ever decide to sell your Tacoma, you won’t lose as much money as you might with another Truck.

For that reason alone, the Tacoma is worth the money.

Is The Tacoma Overpriced?

If you’re in the market for a brand new truck, the Toyota Tacoma is not overpriced, starting at $26,400, nearly 8% lower than the average price for trucks in its class.

But when you start getting into the used market, you can expect to pay much more than the average used truck.

The Tacoma is one of the cheapest trucks in its class if you were to buy it new.

This low barrier of entry draws in a lot of customers that want to buy a new truck without breaking the bank.

Other trucks cost more and will also depreciate much quicker, further proving that the Tacoma is not overpriced.

But if you’re looking for a used truck that’s a couple of years old so that you can save some money, the Tacoma is not for you.

In some cases, used Tacomas that are a year or two old will sell for even more than they did when they were new.

You won’t see this happen to any other truck on the road.

Why Is Toyota Tacoma Insurance So Expensive?

The insurance on a Toyota Tacoma is so expensive (with an average annual cost of $1,338) because it’s a luxury-class truck that is expensive to buy when it’s new. But when you compare it to other trucks in its class, it’s actually over 5% cheaper than the average of $1,411.

Here’s a quick look at the average annual insurance rates for the Tacoma and other similar trucks.

The data is provided by BuyAutoInsurance:

TruckAverage Annual Insurance Rate
Toyota Tacoma$1,338
Chevy Silverado$1,660
GMC Canyon$1,304
GMC Sierra$1,460
Ford Ranger$1,254
Toyota Tundra$1,452

Why Are Old Toyota Tocomas So Expensive?

Used Toyota Tacomas are so expensive because they hold their value well, have a reputation for reliability, are inexpensive to maintain, and have a low supply with high demand.

The perfect combination for an expensive used truck.

Two of the main reasons that used Toyota Tacomas still go for such a high price is that there are a lot of people out there who want to buy them and they seem to last forever.

Multiple owners have reported getting hundreds of thousands of miles out of their Tacomas, making it worth the extra upfront cost in the long run.

Are Tacoma Parts Expensive?

Toyota Tacoma parts are not particularly expensive, which is one of the reasons that they’re so affordable to maintain. The parts are widely available and the trucks are pretty easy to work on.

In most cases with the Tacoma, you’ll be paying for more in labor than the actual parts yourself.

So if you’re mechanically savvy, you can save a substantial amount of money by doing the work yourself and just paying for the parts.

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Are Toyota Tacomas Expensive To Maintain?

Toyota Tacomas are not expensive to maintain, they’re more affordable to take care of than most vehicles on the market. The average annual cost to maintain a Toyota Tacoma is $478, which is 27% lower than the average annual cost of all vehicles of $652.

According to RepairPal, this is the average annual cost of maintaining each year of the Toyota Tacoma for the past decade:


The most common issue that Toyota Tacoma’s start having at higher mileage — around 150,000 miles or more — is a transmission that won’t shift right.

This problem is typically caused by a faulty throttle position sensor, which costs about $125 to $140 total to have replaced.

Are Toyota Tacomas Expensive Compared To Similar Trucks?

The Toyota Tacoma is not expensive compared to other similar trucks if you’re buying new, with a starting price of just $26,400. Compared to other trucks in its class, this is lower than the average starting price of $28,650.

Take a look at how the Tacoma’s price compared to similar trucks, data gathered from Consumer Reports:

TruckStarting MSRP
Toyota Tacoma$26,400
Chevy Silverado$29,300
GMC Canyon$26,800
GMC Sierra$30,550
Ford Ranger$24,820
Toyota Tundra$34,025

The Tundra is by far the most expensive of the trucks listed here, and it’s not even close.

The Tacoma is the second cheapest one on this list, so it’s actually affordable compared to other similar trucks — at least when it’s new.

Interestingly as all these trucks age, the Tacoma is likely to hold its value the most.

So 5-10 years down the line, it will likely be the one that costs the most!

Why Are Tacomas More Expensive Than Tundras?

The most basic Tacoma costs roughly $26,150 with the top of the line Tacoma TRD Pro starting at $44,075.

If you’re in the market for a brand new truck, the base model of the Tacoma will actually cost you less than the Tundra.

However, used Tacomas sometimes cost more than Tundras since the demand for pre-owned Tacomas is greater.

This is because the more powerful Tundra is generally worked much harder than the compact Tacoma which is more of an everyday truck.

While both are highly durable and reliable trucks, used Tacomas are more likely to be in better shape and therefore cost more.

Another key reason behind the low demand for Tundras is their large size. They are simply too large for most people’s needs.

Article Sources:

  • caredge.com/ranks/depreciation
  • consumerreports.org/cars/toyota/tacoma/2019/reliability
  • repairpal.com/toyota/tacoma
  • kbb.com/best-cars/best-resale-value-midsize-pickup-truck/

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