Times are changing however, and more and more people are starting to turn to pickups as a regular mode of transport, thanks to their SUV-styling, off-road capabilities and all-round versatility.
Manufacturers have woken up to the fact that not everyone wants a rough-and-tumble, bare-bones vehicle to carry their family around in, and now you'll found an array of top-spec pickups with luxuries like full leather seats, automatic climate control, touchscreen infotainment, and lots of safety tech.
Here are the best options on the market when looking for a used pickup truck.
Ford dominates the commercial vehicle market in the UK, and the Ranger is the market leader when it comes to new pickup truck sales in Britain. That means there are a lot of great used examples to choose from.
Originally launched in 2011, the current version of the Ranger was updated in 2016 and then fully revised in 2019, so that's why you'll see ones that all have the same basic shape but look very different, particularly from the front.
Throughout the years, you've always been able to choose from 2.2-litre and 3.2-litre diesel engines; the smaller of the two provides ample pulling power and performance without the heavier running costs of the 3.2, which is still very popular with those looking for a bit more shove when they hit the accelerator.
Nissan have become one of the main players in the UK pickup market, and the Navara is an excellent load-lugger with a reputation for durability.
You'll find plenty of second-generation Navaras, which was sold right up until 2015, on the second-hand pickup market. It's a very capable vehicle and was one of the very first pickups to be part workhorse, part lifestyle vehicle, able to compete with more mainstream SUVs in terms of comfort and technology.
The third generation, on sale since 2016, provided a further step up in terms of interior quality and in particular technology, with the driving experience becoming more car-like than ever before.
The Hilux is one of the more famous names in the global landscape of pickup trucks, known worldwide for its reliability, durability and overall toughness.
It has always been a bit agricultural though, and the seventh generation, on sale in the UK right up until 2016, was only really plush enough for family transport if you went for higher spec Invincible or Invincible X models, which in fairness were the most popular anyway, so there are plenty of used Hilux trucks around.
Like the Navara, the latest generation Hilux, on sale from 2016, offered a huge step up in terms of interior quality and driver technology. The cabin is very SUV-like, but it retains the toughness (both inside and out) you would expect from a Hilux.
Mitsubishi's L200 is a very worthy contender in the used pickup truck market, thanks to a great value package that combines off-road ability, toughness and distinctive styling.
The popular fourth generation L200 was on sale until 2014 in the UK, and the high-spec Barbarian versions proved very popular indeed with the British public. They used a 2.5-litre diesel engine that was both durable and relatively fuel efficient, considering the size of the vehicle.
The latest-gen L200 brings it bang up to date in terms of styling and technology, and fuel efficiency is higher than ever before thanks to a new generation 2.4-litre diesel engine.
Volkswagen were slightly late to the pickup party, with the critically-acclaimed Amarok launching in the UK in 2011. It seems that VW were sitting back, taking note of what UK pickup buyers wanted, and then delivering exactly that when the time was right.
It was such a successful launch that in 2012 it was awarded 2012 What Van? Pickup of the Year, certifying its credentials as a more than credible rival to some of the more established competition.
The Amarok's engineers had a big advantage from the outset, with access to some of the finest engines on the market, including the 2.0-litre TDI and BiTDI BlueMotion diesels, as well as the now hugely desirable 3.0-litre V6 TDI producing an impressive 201bhp of power and 368lbs/ft of torque.
Isuzu proudly proclaim that they are 'the pickup professionals', and it's fairly easy to see why. Nowadays they only have one model available in the UK: the D-Max.
It's great value for a full-size pick-up truck and good used examples aren't that hard to find. The D-Max is suitable for those looking for a bit more of an old-school, hardworking and durable pickup with great off-road ability. Top spec models are well kitted out, so go for one of the 'Blade' models if you want extra features and tech.
Older models made use of a 2.5-litre diesel engine, which was phased out during 2019 for a much smaller and more economical 1.9-litre diesel, which despite its lower capacity still enables the D-Max to tow an impressive 3,500kg.
Pickups have come along way in recent years, with lots of great models launched between 2015-2017 that now make excellent used vehicle purchases. They're more stylish, comfortable and have more technology than ever before.
Japanese models such as the Hilux, L200, Navara and D-Max have built up great reputations for durability and reliability, while the Ford Ranger remains the market leader. If you want a used V6 pickup (that's not really, really old), pretty much your only option is the VW Amarok at the moment.