American All-Stars: The Most Popular Pickup Trucks in the U.S. (2020)

Insurify Insights

By: Insurify Insights

Published July 16, 2020

Reading time: 8 minutes

Click here to see the Most Popular Cars by State report for 2021.

Americans are well-known for their intense devotion to their cars. And pickup trucks, more than any other vehicle, have earned a loyal following across the United States.

Since the inception of the first pickup truck over a century ago, this quintessentially American vehicle has gained a strong foothold in the American psyche. Pickup trucks have come a long way from their progenitor, the Ford Model TT. And in the United States, a pickup truck is more than just a vehicle — it’s evolved into a multifaceted cultural symbol. A longtime embodiment of Americanism, the pickup truck is a vehicle of dualities at its core. It’s representative of both consistency and innovation, practicality and luxury. It exemplifies masculinity to some, and overcompensation to others.

Pickup owners are also some of the most loyal. Eighty percent of pickup owners will go on to replace their old pickup with a new one, according to Edwards’ New Vehicle Experience Study. A recent Ford survey reports that a whopping 79 percent of pickup owners would more willingly give up alcohol for a year than the keys to their pickup for the same amount of time, and 47 percent would willingly give up their phone. The devotion that owners have to their pickup trucks is not only steadfast and deep, but it’s also a key selling point for auto companies.

Americans purchased $91.831 billion worth of pickup trucks in 2019 alone. It goes without saying, but pickups occupy a significant segment of the American car market. In recent years, sales have trended upwards, compared to sales of cars and SUVs. In fact, in keeping with this upward trend, sales of pickup trucks officially overtook sales of cars this spring. A handful of car brands are also adding a pickup to their 2021 lineup, eager to capitalize on pickup trucks’ increasing share of the car market.

It’s clear that Americans love their trucks. But when it comes to specific models, which pickups are more popular than the rest? Eager to identify the most popular pickups in America, the data science team at Insurify turned to their database.

  • Ford reigns supreme… except in Hawaii. When considering pickup popularity on a state-by-state basis, Ford F-series pickups are the most popular trucks in all states, except for in Hawaii. It turns out that residents in The Aloha State tend to prefer the affordable, no-frills Nissan Frontier instead.

  • How safe are pickups compared to other vehicle types? Pretty safe. In fact, pickup trucks are safer than SUVs and cars, based on the driver fatality rate per miles driven. According to a national report released this May by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the death rate of pickup truck drivers is 18 for every 10 billion miles driven. SUV owners are a little less lucky, with a death rate of 19 drivers for every 10 billion miles driven. Meanwhile, driving a car is twice as dangerous as driving a pickup; there are 36 deaths for every 10 billion miles driven in a car.

  • Which state drives the most pickups? The highest proportion of drivers owning a pickup truck live in Georgia, which has 5.52 times more pickup drivers than the national average. The average share of pickup truck drivers across all states is 8.25 percent.

Methodology

The data science team at Insurify, a car insurance comparison platform, referred to its database of over 2.5 million insurance applications. When applying for car insurance, car owners must disclose their driving history, including the make and model of the car they drive. The most popular pickup trucks in America were determined from this car ownership data.

MSRP data for the top ten pickup trucks were gathered from the manufacturers’ websites for the 2020 model’s base trim level, with the exception of the Nissan Frontier, for which the 2020 model year’s MSRP is still unavailable. 2019 MSRP data was gathered instead. Each of the top ten trucks was given an Insurify composite rating, based on their 2020 model. This rating was determined using scores given by Edmunds, U.S. News & World Report, and Car and Driver.

What is the most popular pickup truck in America?

As of 2020, the Ford F-series is the most popular pickup truck in America. Making up 250 per 10,000 vehicles in America, the Ford F-series is the quintessential American pickup. It has been a perennial bestseller and American source of pride.

Insurify Insights
Insurify Insights

Data & Research Team

Insurify’s team of data scientists and content specialists presents Insurify Insights, a series of automotive, home, and health studies focusing on the topics that impact us all. Through expert analysis of over 4 million car insurance applications and an array of top data sources, the Insurify Insights team produces new data-driven articles, trend analyses, regional superlatives, and national rankings every week. See Insurify Insights as featured in Forbes, Fox News, USA Today, NPR, and more.

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