Does Putting A Lift Kit On Your Truck Decrease Its Resale Value?

Without a doubt, the light truck segment of the new vehicle market sees the most dollars spent on accessories. Truck owners like to put their own personal stamp on their rides, whether it’s functional, like side steps or tonneau covers, or purely decorative, like striping and chrome fuel-cap doors.

 Having a lift kit installed is a hugely popular modification that an increasing number of truck owners want to make to their vehicles. These kits vary in size from moderate two-inch to car-crunching arena-star. Many non-truckers may argue that they are a waste of time and money, but nothing beats ground clearance for a true off-road enthusiast, and even the harshest critics would be hard pressed not to be pleased by the image of rawness and strength conferred upon a new truck with a four-inch lift and suitably over-sized wheels and tyres. As with any complex and involved add-on, such as a suspension lift, some study is needed before going to the accessories shop or hiring a professional to install the components for you.

For the uninitiated, lift kits are available in a number of combinations. Short two-inch lifts are usually accomplished by adding specially shaped steel or alloy blocks to the existing shocks/struts or springs to extend the space between the truck’s body and the axles. Larger kits, such as four-inch to eight-inch packages, need the replacement of suspension control arms, springs, linkages, and a host of other components in order to increase the ride height of the vehicle. Few of these kits are simple to install since they usually need the use of specialised skills, equipment, and expertise. When new rims and tyres are included in, costs may vary from a few hundred dollars to well over $5,000.

So considering the cost that you’ll need to outlay, it’s essential to answer the question: does putting a lift kit on your truck decrease its resale value? Read on to find out more. There are pros and cons to the idea. 

Pro – Versatility

Even though pickup trucks have grown in popularity as much as passenger vehicles in recent decades, they remain the most serviceable vehicle type on the market. They are usually equipped with enough horsepower and torque to handle hauling and towing duties. 

A lifted truck has an inherent advantage over a regular pickup truck when it comes to towing. Of course, a large part of this equation is determined by the truck’s weight versus the weight of the trailer. They should have a reasonable ratio. A lifted truck distributes weight differently, allowing for greater towing power optimization.

 Pro – Off-Roading

One of the more practical reasons to own a pickup truck is for recreational purposes, such as off-roading. While many stock pickup trucks are perfectly suited for that (and some even cater specifically to that demographic), a lifted truck will provide a plethora of additional benefits. The first and most obvious benefit of a lifted truck is that it is less likely to become stuck in mud, sand, or wet terrain than a stock truck. 

 Second, when off-roading, the terrain will most likely contain rocks, branches, and other debris. Hitting some of those sharp objects in a stock truck can cause catastrophic damage to the undercarriage. With a lifted truck, those rocks and branches are far less likely to hit you, let alone cause serious damage. 

Cons – Fuel Economy

As with any aftermarket addition, there will undoubtedly be drawbacks. You will probably, for example, notice that your fuel economy suffers as a result. Already, trucks don’t get the best gas mileage in the world. The weight of a lift kit and larger tires on your truck will make it heavier, lowering your miles per gallon. Furthermore, the lower a vehicle is positioned to the ground, the more aerodynamic it is, increasing the surface area for wind to drag against, resulting in a larger body. This will also result in a decrease in your gas mileage.

 Cons – They’re Not For Everyone

Lifted trucks are not suitable for everyone. Some people take the opposite approach and drop their trucks to within a few inches of the ground. This improves fuel efficiency and reduces wind resistance, but it transforms speed bumps into impassable four-inch mountains. To each their own.

So in answer to the question, does putting a lift kit on your truck decrease its resale value, the answer is yes and no. However, for the most part, if someone is looking for a truck, they will either know that they want one that has or hasn’t been lifted. If they want one that has been lifted, and they know yours has been worked on by a qualified expert, then it won’t decrease its value; it might even increase it.

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