As used car prices soar to record highs — thanks largely to the global shortage of microchips — an unusual reality has emerged: Some car models now cost more used than they do new.
In general, the price gap between used and new cars has narrowed drastically, according to a recent iSeeCars.com’s analysis of more than 470,000 new and lightly used cars from the 2019 and 2020 model years that were listed for sale in June.
During the first couple of weeks in June, the average lightly used car cost just 3.1% less than a new version of the same model. Last November, that gap was 10.8%.
Amazingly, some used cars actually are selling for more money than their newer counterparts. Impatience may be behind the shrinking price gap between new and used car prices, says Karl Brauer, iSeeCars executive analyst:
“Dealers may think used car buyers are willing to pay more for the instant gratification of a lightly-used vehicle they can drive right off the lot rather than waiting for a new one.”
iSeeCars says the following 16 cars are more expensive if you buy them used:
- Kia Telluride: $44,166 (new), $47,730 (used) — 8.1% more for the used model
- GMC Sierra 1500: $54,205 (new), $57,671 (used) — 6.4%
- Toyota Tacoma: $37,902 (new), $39,857 (used) — 5.2%
- Mercedes-Benz G-Class: $182,631 (new), $190,078 (used) — 4.1%
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: $34,995 (new), $36,352 (used) — 3.9%
- Toyota Tundra: $49,643 (new), $51,474 (used) — 3.7%
- Dodge Challenger: $39,375 (new), $40,764 (used) — 3.5%
- Toyota 4Runner: $45,382 (new), $46,867 (used) — 3.3%
- Hyundai Palisade: $44,063 (new), $45,356 (used) — 2.9%
- Tesla Model 3: $44,409 (new), $45,677 (used) — 2.9%
- Honda Civic: $26,331 (new), $27,058 (used) — 2.8%
- Dodge Charger: $38,977 (new), $39,874 (used) — 2.3%
- Honda Odyssey: $37,612 (new), $38,048 (used) — 1.2%
- Kia Rio: $17,346 (new), $17,472 (used) — 0.7%
- Subaru Crosstrek: $29,474 (new), $29,642 (used) — 0.6%
- Subaru WRX: $34,487 (new), $34,568 (used) — 0.2%
The Kia Telluride — which tops the list — has been a “red-hot seller” since its debut in the spring of 2019, Brauer says. As a result, dealers have charged more than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the vehicle. Because the vehicle is not abundant in the used car market, it fetches a premium.
Regardless of how much you are willing to pay, you may have a tough time finding the most in-demand models, Brauer says:
“Those looking to save money on a used car in today’s market should consider less popular models that likely won’t carry the same price hikes as the hottest-sellers.”
If you are considering purchasing a used car, be sure to check out “5 Steps You Must Take Before Buying a Used Car.”
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