Top 5 Things to Know Before You Buy that Lifted Truck


A white 2017 Ford Raptor, popular among lifted trucks, is driving in the mud near Allentown, PA.


Shopping for a great vehicle here at Allentown Kia can be pretty simple; unless you are looking for some very specific features or unusual items, then things can get a little more complicated. While we are always happy to help all of our customers find anything they need, sometimes a little preparation before you start to shop can really make your life easier. For example, if you are interested in lifted trucks, then it’s a good idea to take a moment to consider all of your options and really think things through. The more you know and have figured out before you come visit us, the easier it will be for us to help you get exactly what you want.


So, when it comes to lifted trucks, you need to determine just what you want – particularly in terms of how much lift you want on a truck. You should also consider if it would be better for you to find a used truck that is already lifted and buy it, or if you should buy a truck and then do the lift yourself. This is an incredibly important decision because it can potentially cost you a lot of money if you make the wrong choice and end up with a major disaster on your hands.


All of this can seem like a lot to figure out, but we’re going to make your life easier. Here are five things you should consider and figure out before you decide on which truck to buy. Keep these in mind and know your answers before you go shopping.


#1 – Know What You Want to Spend


This might seem a little silly or like a “no duh” sort of statement, but you would be surprised how many people go shopping for lifted trucks and other vehicles without fully nailing down their budget. With lifted trucks, this is particularly important because it helps you determine if you should look for a truck that is already lifted or try to get a basic used pickup and install a lift kit yourself. After all, if all of the lifted trucks you find are outside what you can afford, then the decision can become pretty simple for you.


On the other hand, if you buy a truck that is already lifted, then the lift kit and installation are already part of the price. They are a known quantity that you can easily fit into your budget or plan around. If you choose a standard used truck with plans on lifting it yourself – or having a shop do it for you – then the cost for that kit and installation becomes an additional expense. You need to factor that into your decision; you might think you can save some money by choosing to add a lift kit, but unless you know the exact cost of it, you might end up in a real bind.


A black 2017 GMC Sierra All Terrain is driving away on a dirt road.


#2 – Know Your Automotive Expertise


When considering anything involving lifted trucks, your own personal level of automotive expertise and technical know-how are incredibly important. If you do not have much mechanical experience and you have never installed a lift kit yourself, then do not plan on doing so. It might seem pretty minor, but some lift kits require adjusting your suspension, and improper installation can do serious damage to your vehicle. Fixing a mistake when trying to install a lift kit yourself can end up costing far more than the kit or professional installation ever would.


This is a big reason to consider a lifted truck rather than buying a pickup to install a lift kit into after the fact. By buying a truck that is already lifted, you don’t have to worry about doing any installation or finding a shop that will do it for you. The installation is already done, and you can just start enjoying your new lifted truck right away, rather than buying a truck only to have to wait for work on it to be completed.


Seriously though, because it bears repeating: if you don’t already know how to lift a truck, do not think you can watch a 10-minute video online and then install a lift kit. Just don’t. Please, for all our sakes.


#3 – Know How Much Lift You Want


Different lift kits can raise a truck by different amounts, and the degree of lift you are looking for can make a big difference. If you just want a couple of inches of lift for a pickup, then those kits are usually quite inexpensive and typically will not increase the cost of a lifted truck by very much. Similarly, leveling kits can raise just one end of a pickup to make it ride more level overall, and these are also pretty inexpensive.


More serious lift kits that raise a truck by more than six inches, however, are typically much more expensive – often more than $10,000. That means that lifted trucks with these kinds of kits installed will also be more expensive. With that in mind, since these trucks are used, you will still typically find them for less than the total cost for a truck and then buying such a lift kit to install in it. This is especially true if you need a shop to do a professional installation for you since the install can add hundreds or thousands of dollars to the price.



A red 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison is off-roading on a rocky trail.


#4 – Know What You Want to Use Your Lifted Truck For


This kind of goes hand-in-hand with figuring out how much lift you want, but it’s just as important when considering lifted trucks. If you want to increase the clearance under the actual frame of your vehicle for going off-road, for example, then you probably need an expensive lift kit or need to look at more expensive lifted trucks. On the other hand, if you just want a slightly lifted truck that you can put bigger wheels on, then you can probably choose some less expensive options out there and save yourself some money.


Ultimately, you need to do some research into different types of lift kits and how they lift a truck in different ways. Yes, you need to do some research – we promise it won’t kill you. Taking a little extra time now, before you go shopping, to learn about your options and figure out what you need will save you time and could save you money in the long run. Plus, you get to impress your friends and neighbors by talking about the technical aspects of your lifted truck once you buy it, rather than staring at them blankly when they ask if it’s a suspension or body lift.


#5 – Know Who Lifted a Truck You Want to Buy


Finally, we come to something that can be a bit tricky and is certainly not guaranteed for any lifted trucks you are interested in. If at all possible, find out who installed the lift kit on any truck you want to buy. You are much better off choosing lifted trucks with kits that were installed by a reputable, certified shop, rather than ones that had kits installed by a previous owner of unknown technical skill. Unfortunately, it’s possible that there’s no answer to that question; that a dealership simply doesn’t know who performed the lift kit installation, and you might have to decide on whether to gamble on it or not.


At the end of the day, choosing lifted trucks over trying to install a lift kit yourself can save you time, money, and ensure the kit was installed properly. As with so many other things in life, however, the more you know, the better prepared you are to make the right decision. Come visit us at Allentown Kia today to discuss lifted trucks and see what we have available.