I Can't Believe People Are Paying This Much For Used Toyota Tacomas

Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

The biggest trend in the auto industry right now is that the used car market is oversaturated, and now is the time to get a deal on a pre-owned model. Of course, the exception to that rule is the Toyota Tacoma, and it boggles my mind what people are willing to pay for these.

Recently, I was on the hunt for two Toyota Tacomas for customers who were on opposite sides of the country. The budgets for these trucks were also very different; the West Coast customer wanted something around the $26,000-$28,00 range, and the East Coast client was looking for a quality example around $15,000.


I had known for a while that pre-owned Tacoma prices were bonkers, but it wasn’t until I really made some recent comparisons did the absolute insanity of the Tacoma market come into view.

My customer in California wanted an SR5 Double Cab 2WD V6 truck with an automatic transmission, and she assumed that since the Tacomas were such hot sellers that a new one would be way beyond her budget.

Of course, when you look at “internet prices” like this one, you can see why she would think that way.


According to TrueCar, I should expect to save about $900 off the MSRP of a new Tacoma, so perhaps the local market is really tight with pricing:


However, when I started looking at pre-owned listings I would come across crazy used trucks like this 2013 with 38,000 miles for almost $30,000.


A 2013 Tacoma is a nice truck, but it’s not that nice.

I was determined to see how cheap I could get a new one because there had to be some wiggle room other than a pathetic few hundred bucks, I figured. I was able to find a California dealer offering a not-too-shabby $2,725 off the MSRP with made the sale price on the 2017 model $28,775. That’s over a grand cheaper than the 2013 one.


It’s also worth noting that this person could have scored a brand new Chevrolet Colorado LT V6 for about $5,500 off the MSRP, including rebates and had a brand new Chevy truck for well under what most of the used Tacomas were going for.


On the other side of the country, I had to hunt down a 4WD V6 Tacoma with a manual transmission. Once you had a clutch pedal into the equation you really limit the inventory and the prices get even more insane than the automatic trucks.

Here is a 2006 Tacoma 4x4 V6 with a manual and over 130,000 for almost $12,000. This is a ten-year old truck that, by the looks of it, needs some body work.


I suggested an alternative, something like this 2008 Nissan Frontier SE V6 4x4 with three pedals and about 85,000 miles for a few hundred bucks more than the Tacoma.


Am I supposed to believe that the Toyota is exponentially more reliable than the Nissan that it’s worth paying the same for an older truck with 45,000 more miles and body damage?


Look I get it, after the robot revolution and zombie apocalypse, the only things left alive will be cockroaches and Toyota Tacomas, but this is just madness.

Stop overpaying for used Tacomas, people!

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About the author

Tom McParland

Tom is a contributing writer for Jalopnik and runs AutomatchConsulting.com. He saves people money and takes the hassle out of buying or leasing a car. (Facebook.com/AutomatchConsulting)