Pickup truck sales in the U.S. are booming, and show no signs of slowing down. In fact, the best-selling vehicle of all time in the United States is the Ford F-series. Americans simply love their trucks.

So if you’re considering buying a truck as your next vehicle, you’re definitely not alone. But there are some factors you should consider that can help you narrow down your options, and figure out exactly what you’re looking for. Here are some tips to help you buy a pickup truck:

1. Assess your needs

Before buying your truck, think about what you’ll be primarily using it for. Do you live in an urban area and will simply be using the vehicle to commute and get around town? Will you be using the truck for work? Do you need a truck because you live in a place with difficult terrain or frequent inclimate weather? Asking yourself these questions can steer you in the right direction.

2. Prepare for a bit of “sticker shock”

Unfortunately, trucks are priced more like luxury vehicles than midsize cars. So if you’re used to paying regular car prices, you might get a bit of a shock when you see what trucks are selling for. That being said, when you buy a truck, you get a lot for what you pay. Trucks are no longer bare-bones work machines. These days, they’re loaded with all of the comforts and technology you could possibly want.

3. Identify what you’ll be carrying or hauling

If you plan on using the truck to transport things, then you need to consider exactly what your use case is going to be. For instance, if you plan on towing a boat or a trailer, you’ll probably need a four-wheel drive to make sure you can get traction in precarious places like boat ramps. Similarly, if you’re going to be hauling something large and heavy, you might need to consider a “dually.” Don’t skip this part of the process or you might regret it later.

4. Choose a light-duty, medium-duty, or heavy-duty truck

While trucks were once rated by their payload, they’re now more commonly identified by light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty designations. You’ll need to pick the right size for your needs. You don’t want to underestimate your needs because you could end up with a truck too small or not powerful enough to haul what you need. But overestimating your needs could cost you thousands of extra dollars in gas and make it harder fit into parking spots.

5. Pick out a cab and bed size

You’ll need to decide what type of cab you need. Most manufacturers offer three cab sizes, whether it’s the classic regular cab with a single row of seating, a crew cab with four doors and plenty of seating, or a huge mega-cab that not all manufacturers offer. This will coincide with the size of the truck’s bed, which will likely be shorter if you go for a bigger cab size. Again, assess your needs and decide what’s most important to you.

6. Check for any state fees and regulations

Where you live could affect whether or not you have to pay any extra state fees associated with a truck purchase. Some states have weight fees, and some might even require a special license for larger trucks. However, you shouldn’t let this deter you from buying a truck you really want. Every state is filled with truck-owners who are willing to pay a few extra bucks for the pleasure of driving a truck.

As always, feel free to contact me for any truck-related questions you may have.