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Keep my truck or get something new?

I have a 2001 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner V6 with 95,000. I’m getting a job that would require being on the road for 8 months out of the year and put about 30,000 miles. So I’m wondering what the best options might be. I do not want to get a car because I will need more room for all the stuff I’ll have during my travels. I’m on a limited budget after graduating college. So, what are the best choices for someone like me? Keep my Car or go after a SUV (buy or lease)?

Dance With The One That Brought You. Since You Know Your Truck And If It’s Working Well, Keep It.

Are you keeping any information secret ? What does the truck need or what objections to driving it do you have ? Why consider replacing it ?


Does ur job pay expenses? It requires u to be on road for 8 months but u pay for car/gas/ins? Times r tuff. U get job but must provide car?

I like Tacomas, but not for spending 30k a year in. I would get a compact, 4 cyl suv.

Dagosa: “I like Tacomas, but not for spending 30k a year in. I would get a compact, 4 cyl suv.”

T Dawg: “I’m on a limited budget after graduating college.”

One on a limited budget will possibly be better off with a little discomfort (Tacoma) than with bigger problems (different tight-budget vehicle that’s unreliable). I builds character. Also, since T Dawg is possibly a younger person, having just graduated, he might be more resilient than some.

I say that we don’t have enogugh information, yet, to say, “buy something else”.

T Dawg, are you extremely uncomfortable driving the Tacoma or is it bearable for a while ?
Will it be long trips or many shorter trips ?
How much money would you have free and clear (including sell/trade Tacoma), for another vehicle ?
And, again, Are you keeping any information secret ?
What does the truck need or what objections to driving it do you have ?
Why consider replacing it ?

More information is needed.


@CSA…let me repeat "I would get a 4 cylinder SUV"
That’s how much I think the Tacoma is worth trading. If Tdawg can’t afford anything, then he is stuck and any advice is useless. A 4cylinder compact suv with 2wd would be financially worth it. A Pre Runner is not especially efficient but is valuable enough to turn into a reasonable compact that rides a whole lot better. Of course, I’m speaking from an oldr persons point of view. But even younger, I woukdn’t put 30 k a year on these buckboards. They are 2wd trucks with a 4 wd ride. My advice stands.

High mileage in an uncomfortable vehicle is tiring and the driver is more accident prone.

As long as your Prerunner serves you well, keep driving it. You should get at least 2 or 3 more years out of it as long as you maintain it properly. Save money during those years for a down payment on your next ride.

I normally wouldn’t say down payment, suggesting a loan, but as a young adult you will need a credit rating. A new truck is a great way to develop a solid credit rating. In 3 or so years.

I’m not keeping any information purposely. I know it needs a few things like transmission fluid change and a new 02 sensor that I’m planning on changing either way. There’s no need to have a truck bed or towing for the job, so the extra enclosed room in the back would be good for my stuff while traveling. The job pays somewhat for expenses, it’s more like a limited expense account that I keep the surplus, so the less I spend the more I make.

It’s not extremely uncomfortable to drive, but it’s not ideal. I’ve driven it up the east coast a couple times and I lived obviously. THe main thing is the computer for the cruise control in older model Toyota’s suck. Either it’s revving high or speeding up and slowing down way too much. Just leads me to have to keep my foot on the gas the whole time.

The trips will be around 500-1000 miles at a time. My truck is paid for so I will get whatever KBB says, so anywhere between $8,000-$10,000.

Honestly, It would be nice to have a more updated vehicle with some better gas millage and some room to store stuff while I’m on the road. However if it’s reasonable to think that the Truck will make it without having any major problems during the year while putting 30,000 miles on it then I could make it work. If the Truck breaks down then I will have an extremely hard time making it to my next stop and can effect my job.

Keep my bias in mind when you read my post. I don’t like to borrow money. I have a real dislike for lending institutions. Furthermore, I don’t have a sensitive tailbone, so a hard riding vehicle doesn’t bother me at all.
I suggest that you have a good mechanic check your truck over thoroughly, paying particular attention to whether or not the undercarriage is rusting, the suspension is good, the steering gear (tie rods, ball joints) are in good shape. If your Tacoma passes the muster, then do the necessary servicing–transmission fluid change, oil change, coolant change and possibly new spark plugs. Be sure the tires have good tread and that the brakes are in good shape. The Tacoma is a common truck, so if you need repairs, most mechanics have seen one. Repairs are easier to make on a truck like yours than many other vehicles. Highway miles at reasonable speeds are much easier on a vehicle than stop and start local driving.
New vehicles can break down as well as older ones. With reasonable driving and maintenance, your truck should be good for 30,000 more miles. Heck, you might find a competent mechanic that could make the cruise control work better.

If some one said I had to have a 2001 vehicle with 95000 miles go for several more years at 30 k per year, a Toyota pick up with the v6 would arguably be as well up to the task as any other vehicle you could suggest.

If you are looking for another more appropriate and driver friendly car that has nearly as much room for stuff and is more efficient and easier to live with, I suggest and continue to suggest a compact suv in 2wd or something like a Matrix wagon. Or maybe, any compact car. I think you can find one used for $10 k. But, $10 k will not guarantee you will get anything with better reliability unless you go down to a basic compact. A Corolla maybe had 7 plus years newer. No guarantee you get that much for your truck though.

It’s up to you to think it’s worth it, remembering you already have a car with the potential to be reliable enough. It is reasonable to change cars for the reasons you gave. I love my cruise too and would do what I had to to fix it if that is the main problem. Perhaps just drive it for a while, fix it first if you can then make a decision. You don’t have to live with a cruise control that operates that poorly. Some can be adjusted or a more modern after market cruise might work.

Thank y’all for the advice, this has been very helpful. I’m thinking of holding on to the truck and just getting a bed cover and seeing what I can do about the cruse control.

I appreciate the advice a lot. Thank You,


A minivan will give you as much space as a truck with more security against theft than a truck with a camper shell. It will ride more like a car and be at least as efficient as most SUVs, probably better. Yeah, I know minivans are ultra dull, but you’d get functionality, comfort, and economy at a lower net price. One big advantage with a van is that you can access the stuff in back from inside the car, unlike a truck where you must get out and access from the tailgate.

I know of NO lease that offers 30k per year in mileage. At the most, you’d have the car a year and a half before you’d have to park it and find something else to drive until the lease ran out, or suffer on mileage penalties when you gave the car back.

Right now, I’d just buy a cap for the truck and start saving a bit each pay period; that way you get a good idea of how much you’ll get to keep over what you spend of what they give you… But, start looking around for a new vehicle while your truck still runs
Mazda 5(minivan that’s not quite a minivan) or CX-5 offer good mpg if you can afford one. Both start at about 20k, so check them out. They redesigned the Ford Escape for 2013, so a left over 2012 should be a steal.

Dang it its just getting broke in,if this thing gets acceptable gas mileage,I would say keep it-if the toyota V-6 is as good as the rest of thier motors another 100K should be no problem-Kevin

Keep the truck…Tacoma runs forever…But if you work in a state that has snow, sell it. Or check to see if your frame is rusted. There is a buy back recall. You can get 1.5 of the value. My dad had a 1999 Tacoma and the frame has holes(Chicago). He bought it for $6000 and Toyota paid him $13000. Yes $13,000.00 for the truck. He took that and down payment on a 2008 tacoma.

I actually am saddened when I hear a smooth sounding pick up pass by, obviously well taken care of motor wise, with rust holes. A little linseed oil in the body panels and a foam brush and a little painting of the frame with red grease is all it takes.

Yeah, you have to get a little dirty, but anyone can do it and the pay back if you do it once every three years is like a thousand bucks an hour. Thats the difference, conservatively, of getting $5k for your car after 12 to 15 years and paying someone to tow it away because of the rust. Anyone in their right mind would take a car that needed a little mechanical work with a solid body over the same car with a great motor and an uninspectable rusted body and frame.

If the Tacoma has a good bod, it’s worth keeping and repairing, if you can stand to drive it.