For years, you have been driving a smaller vehicle. But lately, as you head to work, run errands or park your car, you find yourself looking longingly at all the pickup trucks dotting the road. While you enjoy certain obvious aspects of a truck - like their look and ability to haul countless goods - you also have a number of questions about them.

Before you take the plunge into owning a new pickup truck, it's worth considering the following points:

Maintaining a Truck Differs From That of a Car
No matter what type of vehicle you drive, you'll need to schedule regular oil changes, tune-ups and the like. But if you make the switch from a car to a truck, there will be some key differences with regard to maintenance, including switching out tires. Up until now, you may have purchased regular all-season tires for your sedan or hatchback.

But with a pickup truck, you'll have more options from which to choose. For instance, Toyo tires come in two different models for trucks. They include the Open Country H/T, which are optimized for city driving, and the Open Country AT II, which offer all-terrain handling and are ideal if you do a lot of driving in mud, dirt and snow.

Before buying new tires for your truck, however, it will be important to take an honest look at the type of driving in which you partake on a regular basis. From there, you'll be able to better decide if all-season tires will be adequate or if you need something with deep tread grooves that can grip a muddy road.

The Pros of Owning a Truck
There are definitely a number of benefits to owning a pickup truck, including added cargo space. Even the largest SUV cannot typically handle a big trip to a local home improvement store or a DIY furniture market compared to a pickup truck. Additionally, pickups offer far better off-roading capabilities than a sedan.

Thus, if you enjoy venturing into the wilderness for camping, fishing or simply getting off the beaten path, a pickup has the ground clearance and sturdy suspension to handle it. And, depending on your job, a truck might make you more appealing to your employer, or future bosses down the road, especially if you work in construction, where you might need to drive your own vehicle from time to time.

The Downsides of Truck Ownership
As notes, there are also some drawbacks to truck ownership. Pickup trucks are not only bigger than sedans, but they also come with a larger price tag. Additionally, since they're heavier than most vehicles and feature larger engines, trucks tend to eat up a lot more fuel. In fact, the average sedan gets about 34 miles per gallon versus about 26 miles per gallon for a light truck. If you have a long commute, this can factor into your decision to buy a truck of your own.

It Will Take Some Time to Adjust
While you likely feel comfortable driving any type of small vehicle, it will take some time to learn to drive a pickup. For instance, pickup trucks usually have larger blind spots to get used to, and since your field of vision is often a bit limited in back, you may have to go into reverse slowly and with a lot of caution.

Additionally, the truck's heavier weight means the usual rules of accelerating and braking are different, as it will take longer to get up to speed as well as more time to stop. All of these differences can be conquered with some practice, extra set of mirrors or a backup camera, but they are definitely points to keep in mind.

To Buy or Not to Buy? It's Up to You
After weighing the pros and cons of pickup truck ownership - and educating yourself on the differences between driving a car versus a truck - you may feel more ready to make a decision. Ultimately, what you decide is up to you, and if you do invest in a pickup truck, you'll no doubt have years of fun behind the wheel of your new ride.