Hello everybody, this is Stephen, operator of this website. While everything up to this point has been written by myself, this is the first submitted article. Written by Eric White from across the pond in the U.K., read on for his opinion of American trucks in the U.K..
You never used to see pickups that often in the UK, but because they have become more affordable – and much better looking – they are becoming much more popular. In fact, they are quickly becoming the alternative to the ‘white vans’ that you still see on Britain’s streets. Not only are they versatile as a work vehicle, if you’re self employed then you can have it as a home and a commercial vehicle – getting different road tax restrictions and claims back on VAT. For the cost of a white van and a domestic car, people can get a real luxury pick up – which makes their work and home driving a lot more enjoyable.
Although some people sneer while calling them a ‘rich-man’s toy,’ and look at them in much the same way as a sports car bought in middle age, people are missing the point. Although pickup interiors offer the luxury of top-line sports cars, they also offer more space and practicality. They look great, but you can throw your life in the back of them. Try deciding to put a canoe and a family tent in the back of a Porsche 911 to take your family for an impromptu holiday.
If the pickup is the new ‘mid-life crisis’ vehicle, then people in the UK are obviously dealing with their crisis better than they used to. While they are a very masculine car—and there’s nothing wrong with that—it’s a masculinity that is grounded in someone who knows their identity and knows what they want, not something that people are driving to try and pick up women half their age.
If someone has the money to spend, they want a vehicle that has all the modern technology they want, great styling, impressive motor performance, versatility and the luxurious finish that they desire. These days the interior of a luxury pick-up has more in common with a supercar than the interior of an old-school Land-Rover (which is what UK pickups really used to be). That supercar luxury comes at a fraction of the cost, and a fraction of the worry that you’re going to flip and write off your Ferrari or Lamborghini.
The modern pickup is the best of both worlds. Outside it is rugged, safe and prepared to take on all challenges that come its way. Inside it is mature, sophisticated and modern. No wonder pickups are becoming the new luxury vehicle of choice. The rough and tough vehicles are now seen on the school run – because they are a vehicle that you know will keep your children safe. If you need to help transport crash mats down to the playing field for sports day – they also allow you to help out.
There’s also something great about driving a pickup in the UK. They’re predominantly an American vehicle, and they used to be only suited for the American roads. With modern advances in steering and fuel efficiency, they are no longer the ‘yank-tanks’ people might categorize them as. Make no mistake, you still feel like you’re dominating the landscape when you drive in one, but it’s no longer an ordeal to try and park at the supermarket – and you have all the space in the flatbed you can even need.
They are also fun to drive. They have ‘oomph’ There’s something thrilling to know that if you needed to, you could drive through the hedge on a drive in the country, drive across the field – even drive the Baja run – and you and your family would still be safe. If you do get the chance to go off-road, and with pickups that’s an option, there are few more exhilarating things you can do. With modern suspension, it also means that you can go off road without compacting your spine in the process.
The reason that pickups have become more popular in the UK is that they have become more practical. They can be used as a work vehicle and a home vehicle. They can be used for dirty jobs, but also have a luxurious interior. They’re old-school and modern. They’re tough but also family friendly. They represent the a lot of the modern paradox that is the British man – and pickups are the best of both worlds in a lot of those areas too.
My name is Eric, and I am part of the team here at 51st State Autos, the UK’s largest importer of American Pickup Trucks in the UK.
I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.