Mechanic talking(l+r), Nissan Titan Pro 4x Truck(c)

Nissan @royaltyautoservice/Tiktok

‘Just bought a Nissan Titan Pro 4x… How did I do?’: Mechanic recommends 3 used trucks to target on $20,000 budget. And 3 he doesn’t

‘This list might surprise some people!’


Ljeonida Mulabazi


Over the past few years, trucks have been growing in popularity. Vehicle sales in the U.S. are increasingly trending toward larger and more versatile vehicles, with pickup trucks accounting for 20.5% of vehicle sales in 2022, up from 16.8% in 2016, according to Good Car Bad Car.

For those who want cargo space and towing capacity without breaking the bank, used trucks are a smart and economical choice. But can you still get a high-quality used truck if you have a limited budget?

The popular auto shop on TikTok, Royalty Auto Service (@royaltyautoservice), recently shared a list of three used trucks they highly recommend if you only have a budget of $20,000—and mentioned which three you should avoid. 

Below, we’ve compiled a list of all the vehicles mentioned by the mechanic and owner of the auto shop Sherwood, along with the reasoning behind his recommendations.

Chevy Silverado (2013 or older)

Chevrolet Silverado
FotograFFF/Shutterstock (Licensed)

Starting with Sherwood’s third most recommended vehicle, we have the Chevy Silverado.

Sherwood starts with a disclaimer though, saying he usually wouldn’t recommend this vehicle, but as options are limited, this is a better choice than most. 

Further specifying the model, Sherwood states, “It would have to be 2013 down, 4.8 L.”

While the mechanic says you can get an even older model, if you’re working with a budget of $20,000, he recommends you go for the newest model possible.

Nissan Titan (2012-2013)

Nissan Titan
FotograFFF/Shutterstock (Licensed)

No. 2 on Sherwood’s list is the Nissan Titan. 

“They don’t get much love but we don’t see very many problems with them,” Sherwood states. 

When advising on what specifically a consumer should look for when purchasing any used vehicle, Sherwood states every vehicle will have issues and need repairs at some point. 

“Look at what are the level of problems that they have,” he says. “How fixable are they?”

But they also called it one of the most “underrated” trucks on the market. Nothing like a truck person giving you an off-the-grid recommendation.

Toyota Tundra 

In Body Image
Art Konovalov/Shutterstock (Licensed)

The winner in Sherwood’s list of best full-sized trucks to purchase on a $20,000 budget is the Toyota Tundra. 

He states that with that budget, an attainable model would be the 2012-2013 Toyota Tundra. 

Further praising the vehicle, Sherwood says, “You can’t go wrong with that. That thing is a bullet, it’s bulletproof.”

One negative Sherwood mentions is the price, but according to him, it’s even worth getting one with more miles on it. 

“You’re going to have more miles on the Tundra,” he states, “but it’s going to be a way better vehicle.”

Tesla Cybertruck

Sherwood humorously dismisses the Tesla Cybertruck as a viable option for those with a $20,000 budget. 

He jokingly suggests, “You could probably do a ‘24 Cybertruck Tesla,” before his son clarifies the full budget is $20,000, not just the down payment.

Budget-conscious customers shopping for a truck might be deterred from purchasing a Cybertruck, not only due to its $139,999 price tag, but also because of several reports of malfunctions.

Just this month, Cybertruck owners have reported injuries from the truck doors and observed signs of rust and corrosion on the vehicle.

Chevrolet Silverado
Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

While Sherwood recommends the Chevy Silverado from the year 2013 and down, he says you should avoid models older than 2007. 

“Do not get the 5.3L [engine],” he comments. “2007 is, I think, when they stopped doing that.”

Additionally, if you’re considering other options, it’s worth noting some challenges with the Chevrolet brand.

In previous articles from the Daily Dot, we highlighted a Chevrolet mechanic discussing the necessity of a $400 tool for maintenance, and another mentioning Chevrolet dealership scam attempts. 

Toyota Tundra
Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock (Licensed)

While Sherwood acknowledges that the Toyota Tundra is a top pick for reliability and durability, he advises against newer models due to the high pricing. 

Newer models, such as the 2023 Toyota Tundra, start at around $40,000– significantly higher than the budget of $20,000. For those with a limited budget, older models offer a better balance of cost and reliability without the steep price tag of the newer versions.

But many viewers agree that the Toyota Tundras can go forever. The brand is perpetually seen as a top-tier carmaker with durable cars. So might as well get a cheaper, older one if since they all go forever anyway.

@royaltyautoservice This list might surprise some people! #truck #trucktok #buyingacar #cartips #tips #ford #chevy #nissan #toyota #honda #cardealership #dealership #mechaniclife #mechanicsoftiktok #viral #fyp #foryou #duet #stitch #tipsandtricks ♬ Storytelling – Adriel

Commenter response

In the comments, users weigh in, with most agreeing that the Toyota Tundra is a top choice for a cheap used truck. 

“The answer is Toyota ….. The answer is always Toyota,” wrote one user. 

“I’ve got a 21’ Tundra with 23k on it,” shared another. “Last truck I’ll ever need or want.”

“Toyota all the way any year,” stated a third. 

We’ve reached out to Royalty Auto Service via contact form, and Chevrolet, Toyota, Tesla, and Nissan via email for further comment. 

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