To­day’s work­horses can also boast the qual­ity and re­fine­ment of thor­ough­breds

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

TO­DAY’S pick-ups are a far cry of the rough and tough pick-ups of old. Think back to the ‘70’s and ‘80’s to when diesels were smoky and smelly, and took their time to start, to when all you could get is very ba­sic plas­tic and rub­ber trim. It’s all changed mas­sively for the bet­ter in this area of the mar­ket.

Most mod­ern pick-ups are al­most as re­fined as cars from any other sec­tor of the mar­ket, with the ma­jor­ity be­ing rea­son­ably com­fort­able, well-equipped and good to drive out on the road. Some are even stylish. All come with pow­er­ful diesels of­fer­ing sub­stan­tial amounts of use­ful torque and power which makes them great for tow­ing, while higher than nor­mal ride heights and in many cases, 4x4 abil­ity, also help to keep you out of trou­ble in floods, snow or mud.

These ro­bust work­horses with their use­ful rear load bays come in sin­gle cab, dou­ble cab and even crew cab form. They ap­peal to trades­men and builders who don’t nec­es­sar­ily find them­selves in need of a van and would like more in the way of crea­ture com­forts.

Pick-up own­er­ship also brings tax ad­van­tages for busi­ness peo­ple. Light com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing dou­ble-cab pick-up trucks with pay­loads in ex­cess of 1,000kg, are clas­si­fied as a ben­e­fit in kind if they are also pro­vided for pri­vate use. Un­like cars, how­ever, tax on use of com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles pro­vided by an em­ployer is levied at a flat rate which cur­rently works out at £3,000 if the ve­hi­cle is less than four years old at the end of the tax year. There­fore, a tax payer pay­ing the ba­sic rate of tax would owe the trea­sury £600 a year, while a higher rate tax­payer would have an an­nual bill of £1,200.

Mar­ket lead­ing pick-ups in­clude the Mit­subishi L200, Nis­san Navara, Toy­ota Hilux, Isuzu Rodeo, the new Ford Ranger, Volk­swa­gen Amarok and the Mazda BT50. New­com­ers in­clude the Great Wall Steed, the first wholly Chi­nese-made ve­hi­cle to be im­ported into the UK, and the Isuzu D-max which is just about to make its mar­ket de­but.

GAIN­ING GROUND: The Ford Ranger is among the mar­ket lead­ers.

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