What are truck buyers looking for in their purchases?

When it comes to buying an off-road vehicle, there are a lot of elements drivers have to consider. A recent study from the NADA Used Car Guide aimed to sort through these qualities, and it asked truck shoppers to rank the factors that played a role in their decision-making process. 

Truck buyers had similar desires to those who drive standard cars, albeit some of the qualities were more important than others. On the whole, survey respondents said that the factors with the greatest impact on their decision were quality and dependability, brand, fuel economy, vehicle design, and versatility and utility. Also highly ranked were the towing and payload capacity of a truck, its safety features and the engine power. 

Fuel economy, which was the top concern for buyers in last year's survey, did not carry the same weight in 2013. That is partly because gas prices have fallen slightly, and it may also be a sign of some of the diesel engines and alternative fuel vehicles rumored to be joining the world of trucks. 

"While higher gasoline prices and stiffer federal regulations have raised the profile of fuel economy over the past few years, the survey results clearly indicate that car and light-truck shoppers are looking for a trouble-free ownership experience above all else," said Jonathan Banks, an analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide.

If buyers were considering a new car instead of a used vehicle, they had some more qualities to take into consideration. For example, about 58 percent claimed that the ownership cost, which includes everything from insurance fees to ongoing maintenance, plays a significant role in making the final decision. Many fans of off-roading also had to consider expenses related to making truck modifications, such as the cost of purchasing and installing a lift kit on newer models.