Investing in a car as a small business owner can be extremely stressful, and especially so if you are a gardener. A perfect car for a gardener is likely going to be a van or a pick-up truck as both of these offer superior cargo and towing capacity.
Gardeners tend to transport lots of equipment such as small machinery, shrubs, fertilizers, and much more. If you are gardening on a larger scale, chances are that you will be towing some heavier equipment as well.
If you are mostly interested in pickup trucks, you should opt either for a Ford F150 or some of its most daring rivals such as the Chevy Silverado, Dodge Ram 1500, Toyota Tacoma, or the Nissan Frontier. All of these are large enough for 99% of people, but if not, you can always opt for a Ford F450.
If you are not a fan of pickup trucks, or you simply don’t live in the US, a van is likely going to be the best option. A Ford Transit is one of the most popular vans on the market for various purposes, but you should also consider the VW Transporter or the Citroen Nemo if you fancy something a bit more compact.
The Ford F150 is the most popular, best-sold car in the US for a number of years now due to great all-around usability, lots of engines, size and trim options, and a decent amount of luxury and comfort features.
The F150 beats out the competition mostly because it offers a more upscale experience compared to a Chevy Silverado for example. That being said, the F150 and the Silverado both offer around 10k pounds worth of towing capacity.
Just like in the case of the F150, the Silverado is a truck perfect for DIY people and small business owners. A Silverado is reliable, relatively comfortable and it offers all the necessary amenities you’d expect from a modern-day pickup truck.
Both the Silverado and the F150 retail for about $28k without options. If you want the very top-end models, you are looking at a $65k+ price tag, V6 or V8 engines, and lots of luxury equipment. But in most cases, used three-year-old Silverados and F150s offer the best value for money.
Dodge Ram 1500
If you love Dodge pickup trucks, the RAM 1500 is likely going to be your main pick out of all the entry-level pick-up trucks. But compared to the F150 the Dodge seems a bit more technology-packed and more comfortable, but not by much.
That being said, the Dodge does cost a bit more MSRP. But chances are you are going to look at used options, and as such, both of these are evenly matched price-wise. If you opt for a RAM, it’s mostly going to be due to brand loyalty.
But most gardeners don’t need a huge pickup truck, they would rather opt for a reliable, compact, and easy-to-drive alternative. And the Toyota Tacoma is just that, a reliable compact pickup truck that offers you everything you’d expect from a Toyota.
The Tacoma costs around $26k, but the prices can go well over $40k for the very top-end model. Used market options are plentiful, and the prices are fairly affordable as well.
But if you want a van, the Ford Transit is definitely one you should take a closer look into. The Transit is somewhat a definitive van in most places around the world, and for a good reason. The Transit offers a huge cargo area, a decently reliable platform, and relatively affordable new and second-hand market prices.
The smaller Transit model offers up to 339ft³ of cargo area which is more than plenty for most gardeners out there. If you need even more than that, a Jumbo Transit offers up to 533ft³ which is enough for hauling larger and equipment.
One of the main reasons why many people opt for the Transporter is because there are loads of them around and the reliability is better than most other VW products. As such, the Transporter offers a 2.0L diesel engine with class-leading fuel efficiency.
Besides the fuel efficiency, the Transporter offers comparable cargo area to the Ford Transit, and a better, more upscale driving experience compared to a similar Transit model.
The smallest option out of all the cars listed here, the Nemo is mostly targeted towards individuals with a more modest equipment list. The Nemo comes equipped with Bluetooth, ESC, and a set of sliding doors, all of which are useful in city-driving scenarios.
The Nemo is a perfect choice for someone who runs a smaller-scale operation and does not want to spend large amounts of money. As such, a used Citroen Nemo is a great option.
What’s the difference between a Ford F150 and a Ford F450?
The main differences between these two are the towing and payload capacities. The F150 is capable of towing up to 10k pounds worth of hauling equipment while the F450 raises the bar to 24k pounds.
The Payload-capacity of the F150 is rated at up to 3.3k pounds, while the 450 is capable of almost twice as much. These two are the core differences between the two models, but between the 450 and the F150 stand the F250 and the F350.
Should I opt for a pick-up or a van for gardening?
Choosing between these two is mostly associated with what you like better. Chances are, if you live in the US, you will almost always opt for a pickup truck. And in reality, a pickup truck is a better option as it offers more of a car-like driving experience.
But a van does usually offer a higher cargo capacity, so much so that the F450 is nowhere near a smaller Ford Transit. For towing purposes though, a pickup is a better option.
Should I buy used or new?
Buying new is a better idea if you plan on spending lots of time inside your car, and more importantly, if you manage to find a deal worth considering. There are loads of dealers out there that try to cater to small business owners, and you should check those deals out.
But if you are just starting and you are not keen on spending too much money on a car you are only going to use for gardening purposes, then go ahead and buy a used car. If the business starts flourishing, you can always upgrade.