Getting the best deal is the name of the game – especially if you’re looking for the best used trucks under $10,000. While you’ll want to get the latest model available that meets the price target, you’ll still need to go back a few years. Compacts hitting the bogey are from 2000-2005, while full-size best used pickups under $10,000 fall into the 2001-2004 timeframe.

How did we select these trucks for consideration as Best Used Trucks Under $10,000? We went with the experts, including Consumer Reports (“Best Used Vehicles for Under $20,000”), AOL Autos (“The Best Used Trucks for $10,000”), and Edmunds (“2010 Used Car Best Bets”). For an idea of current price range, we use Edmunds True Market Value (TMV) estimates.

  • 2002-2003 Toyota TacomaConsumer Reports lists the 2002-2003 Toyota Tacoma in the $8,000-$10,000 price range, and 2000-2001 in the $6,000-$8,000 category. Edmunds names Tacoma in the compact truck category, and AOL Autos remarks that the first-generation Tacoma “found success not only with truckers but with beach bums and California hippies alike…We liked the first-generation ‘Tacos because of their reliability.” Edmunds TMV for the 2002 Tacoma ranges from $6,244-$12,279 and goes to $8,336-$15,377 for a 2004 model. The 2000-2001 models range from a low TMV of $4,168 (2000) to a high TMV of $12,079 (2001).
  • 2003-2005 Ford RangerIf a compact Ford is your goal, the 2003-2005 Ranger is a good choice. Consumer Reports lists the 2003-2005 2WD Ranger in the $8,000-$10,000 price range. AOL Autos hails the 2004 V6 automatic 4WD version as its top pick. It’s certainly not a boulevard cruiser, but it does what a small truck needs to do – and is fun to drive. Edmunds comments: “With its solid reliability record, wide choice of body and trim styles and lower pricing than comparable Japanese rivals, a well-maintained late-model Ford Ranger makes for a respectable choice in the used vehicle market.” Edmunds TMV pricing ranges from $4,628-$8,689 (2003) to $6,670-$12,276 (2005).
  • 2001-2003 Ford F-150There’s a reason the Ford F-150 full-size pickup has been America’s best-selling vehicle for most of the past 30 years – it’s tough, durable, and reliable. Consumer Reports lists the 2002 2WD V6, 2003 V6, and 2001 V8 in the $8,000-$10,000 price range (and 2000 models in the $6,000-$8,000 range). Edmunds highlights the F-150 in Large Truck category in 2010 Used Car Best Bets, and AOL Autos singles out the 2004 model, commenting: “The reason buyers tended to like this model was because of its improved visibility…and Ford’s continuous additions to the option sheet. Buyers could literally have it anyway they wanted.” Edmunds TMV ranges from $4,227-$9,635 for 2001 models up to $5,983-$15,186 for 2003 F-150s.
  • 2001-2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500Chevrolet’s full-size pickup, the Silverado 1500 (and its corporate sibling the GMC Sierra 1500), makes two lists of used pickup truck best choices in the under $10,000 category: Consumer Reports and AOL Autos. In the Consumer Reports listing, look for V6 2WD (2002-2004), 2000-2001 V8 2WD, even a 2500 2WD (2001). AOL Autos highlights the 2004 Silverado V8 automatic, short-bed, 2WD. Edmunds TMV for 2002-2004 V6 2WD ranges from $5,516 (2002) to $7,792 (2004). Silverado 1500 V8 2WD models for 2001 range from Edmunds TMV of $8,039-$10,173. Consumer Guide, commenting on 2004 models, says: “These Chevy and GMC trucks have top-flight powertrains, cabs and beds to fit most any need, hospitable interiors and the advantage of 4WD that can be left engaged on dry pavement. And no other big pickups offer 4-wheel steering. Factor in competitive pricing, and Silverado and Sierra are easy Best Buys.”

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