A pickup truck is a light duty truck having an enclosed cab and an open cargo area with low sides and tailgate. Once a work tool with few creature comforts, in the 1950s consumers began purchasing pickups for lifestyle reasons and by the 1990s less than 15 per cent of owners reported use in work as the pickup truck’s primary purpose. Today in North America the pickup is now mostly used like a passenger car, and the Ford F-150 pickup has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States since 1982.

The term pickup is of unknown origin. It was used by Studebaker in 1913 and by the 1930s pick-up (hyphenated) had become the standard term. In Australia and New Zealand ute, short for utility, is used for both pickups and coupé utilities. In South Africa people of all language groups use the term bakkie, a diminutive bak, Afrikaans for bowl.