Americans Are Building Larger Garages to Fit Their Enormous SUVs and Pickups

Vehicles just keep getting larger, meaning they won’t fit into many garages without a renovation.

byChad Kirchner|
Culture photo


Many garages, especially within the limits of large cities, aren't big enough to hold the full-sized pickups and SUVs that are on sale today. Does that mean that people aren't buying trucks? Nope. But it does mean they're going to need larger garages.

The Detroit Free Press reports that there's a large uptick in people renovating and expanding their garages so that they can fit their large trucks and SUVs. Builders are doing everything from increasing the height of the garage door entrance to building all-new, larger structures.

Dustin Collier is a builder out of Traverse City, Michigan. “Vehicles are just taller," he explained in the Free Press article. "You might be able to fit a Ford F-150 into a garage with nothing on its roof, but if you have lights or anything up there, it’s cutting things close." These large vehicles aren't just people carriers but also grown up toys for adults with a knack for big-rig road presence. Specialty trucks like the Ford Raptor and Ram Rebel are factory offerings, but some customers go further to make their machines even more capable.

These garage renovations aren't cheap, either. Collier estimates that renovations can run from $3,000 to $12,000 with some even hitting the $20,000 mark. Pickup trucks and large SUVs are already pretty pricey, but imagine having to add $20,000 to the bottom line in order to bring that fancy new vehicle home.

In referencing his busy season, Collier tells the Detroit Free Press, “Our busiest time is in the spring when everybody gets their taxes back. We get calls in the fall, too, because people are trying to get ready for winter. I see a lot of four-door pickup trucks. They just don’t fit.”

Don't expect this trend to stop anytime in the near future. Remember that Ford produces an F-Series pickup truck nearly twice a minute, every minute of every hour of every day throughout the year. In 2017, the Michigan-based brand sold around 900,000 pickups domestically; that's just a fraction of the overall truck and SUV units sold in the United States each year.

What if you don't want to spend big bucks on a garage upgrade to fit your new truck? A mid-sized pickup, like the Nissan Frontier or Toyota Tacoma, will fit and provide you most of the capability. It all comes down to preference and necessity, but one option may save you a fat stack of cash.