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