Pick-up truck mega test comparison

Do you think pick-ups are just farm or building site workhorses? Think again. Here, we choose the best of them from the UK’s eight main contenders...

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What Car? team
15 December 2017

Nissan Navara off road
Nissan Navara off road

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

Running a pick-up makes most sense if it’s your company car. For standard cars, you are charged a benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rate that’s dependent on the CO2 emissions of the vehicle and its P11D value. For pick-ups, however, because they have a payload of at least 1000kg, they are classed as light commercial vehicles, so you are instead charged a flat rate, regardless of which model, engine or trim you choose. This is the case even if you do personal miles in it.

That means, for the 2018-2019 tax year, BIK for pick-ups is fixed at £3350. If you’re in the 20% tax bracket, a pick-up will therefore cost you just £56 a month, while 40% tax payers will be charged £112 a month. Compare this with, say, a Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost 125 Titanium X with a manual gearbox and a pick-up will cost you almost half as much. It’s also worth remembering that if you only do business miles, apart from “insignificant private journeys”, you don’t have to pay BIK at all.

Some small businesses might choose to buy a pick-up outright. This means that if it will be used for work purposes and meets the necessary requirements, it can be purchased excluding VAT and is tax deductible.

Ssangyong Musso off road

In terms of list price, the Musso is the cheapest car here, but private buyers should remember that, unless they truly need the practical use of a pick-up, for £28,000 you could get a more mainstream SUV that would be better in every department.

If you choose to lease your pick-up, the X-Class is far too expensive to recommend and the Musso is also surprisingly costly, but the L200 is a bargain. The latter is also the cheapest to insure; all the others sit in high insurance groups that cost almost double what you’ll pay for the L200.

Servicing costs don’t differ drastically over three years, while Toyota and Mitsubishi performed most impressively in the latest What Car? Reliability Survey, so there’s a good chance you’ll have to visit the garage less in the Hilux and L200 than you would in the other pick-ups. The Musso, meanwhile, comes with the longest warranty, which covers it for seven years or 150,000 miles. 

But regardless of which you choose, you can find a great deal here with our New Car Buying pages. 

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