How Options Affect Your Ford Truck’s Resale Value

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Ford Trucks

As the new year approaches and you consider shopping for a new Ford truck, you’ll want to think about these important factors first.

Among the many small pleasures in life, few compare to that feeling you get when you drive your new Ford truck off a dealer lot. Even though the many hours you spent researching your purchase and haggling with some sales guy might have you feeling pretty exhausted. Now, for at least a couple of years, you can simply enjoy the latest and greatest Ford has to offer. But with every day and every mile, the value of your truck is slowly trickling downward.

Ford Trucks

When the time comes to start that cycle over again, you could be pleasantly surprised at your truck’s resale value. Or you could be shocked. Sure, we all know that desirable options like diesel engines and four-wheel drive help trucks hold their value better than the alternatives. But those aren’t the only things to consider. Right off the bat, Ford F-Series buyers are at a distinct advantage. After all, you’ve chosen the best-selling vehicle in America for decades. But there’s much more to it than that.

Mass appeal quite simply matters. So when you’re checking the option boxes, you’re better off thinking about what most people like rather than what you like. Used vehicle valuation sites like Kelly Blue Book and NADA assign value based on vehicle condition and options. But if your vehicle lacks options that have a “take” rate of over 50% (meaning more than half of the buyers of your vehicle choose it), you’re effectively reducing your truck’s resale value.

Ford Trucks

Take, for example, power options like windows and seats. Most vehicles these days have them, so not opting for them will likely reduce your truck’s resale value. The same goes for safety packages, though this applies more toward luxury trim levels. Certain packages (like the FX4 or Off-Road package) and trim levels with desirable options can greatly benefit the value of Ford trucks because they contain desirable parts customers are looking for.

Trim levels are another tricky proposition. Used truck shoppers will obviously pay more for a Lariat or Platinum. But the same cannot be said for a well-optioned XLT. This happens because consumers often seek value in base-level trim. They may not expect things like leather interiors and premium sound systems on lower trim levels. Typically, mid-trim level vehicles tend to hold their value the best.

Ford Trucks

And while you might love that bright yellow, purple, or gold paint, most people won’t. Color choice can play a big part in resale value, so it’s best to stick with black, gray, or white. Other factors relate more to your geographic location. For instance, heated seats aren’t as desirable in Florida as they are in Denver. And two-wheel drive trucks aren’t as popular in the snow belt, for obvious reasons.

There are plenty of other factors that go into determining a used truck’s value, from gas prices to wheel choices. Obviously, if you plan to buy something and drive it forever, none of this matters much. But if you’re the type of swaps trucks every 2-5 years or so, you might want to think before you start ticking those boxes. Or at least prepare for a little sticker shock later on!

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Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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