(iSeeCars) – Used car prices have been slowly declining since February, but according to the latest study by car search engine iSeeCars.com, many lightly-used cars are more expensive than their new versions.
iSeeCars.com analyzed asking prices from over 1.5 million new and used cars sold in April 2022 and found the average 1- to 5-year-old used car costs just 1.0 percent less than its new version. It identified the top 15 lightly-used cars that have the greatest price difference compared to their new versions, as well as the new cars that are more expensive than their used versions.
- The average lightly-used car is 1.0 percent less expensive than its new version
- Mercedes-Benz G-Class as a used vehicle is the most expensive over its new version
- The list of vehicles that are more expensive used than new is a mix of two extremes: gas-guzzling expensive SUVs and economical small cars
- Nissan is the most represented automaker for lightly-used cars that provide the greatest savings over their new versions
“Used car prices have improved since January, when the average used car was actually more expensive than its new version,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “The average lightly used car is currently just 1.0 percent or $454 less than its new version, and when you compare that to prices before the microchip shortage when the average lightly-used car cost 17 percent less, you see that used car prices are still well above normal.”
Best Cars to Buy New: Used Cars with The Highest Increases Over New Versions
iSeeCars has identified 15 used cars that are more expensive than their new car equivalent. The list of cars that have the greatest differences includes a mix of vehicle types led by SUVs as well as a wide range of price points.
|Top 15 Used Cars More Expensive than New – iSeeCars|
|Rank (By Percentage)||Model||% Used Price More than New||$ Used Price More than New|
|1||Mercedes Benz G-Class||21.5%||$40,958|
|4||Toyota RAV4 Hybrid||13.5%||$5,002|
|13||Toyota Corolla Hybrid||8.0%||$2,138|
|14||Ford Mustang Mach-E||8.0%||$4,292|
|15||Toyota Prius Prime||7.9%||$2,508|
The lightly-used vehicle that has the biggest price difference over its new version is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, with an average 21.5 percent more amounting to $40,958. “The Mercedes-Benz G-Class opulent off-roader is a status symbol that had record sales numbers in 2021,” said Brauer. “Its success led to a shortage of new versions, with wait times exceeding a year, forcing dealers to halt orders in January and leading well-funded buyers to the used car marketplace.”
Two electric vehicles, the Porsche Taycan luxury electric sedan and the Ford Mustang Mach-E also make the list. “The in-demand Taycan commands a six-month waiting list for its new versions, and with an average used car price of $138,714, well-heeled buyers are willing to pay more than they would for a new version,” said Brauer. “The new for 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E has also been a hot seller since its debut, with Ford shutting down new orders and the current wait time for a new model exceeding 32 weeks.”
The Chevrolet Corvette ranks fourth, with lightly-used versions costing an average of 16.4 percent more than its new version. “The mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette is one of the most highly-anticipated American sports cars ever made, and demand for the car has exceeded supply since its launch for the 2020 model year,” said Brauer. “Dealers have a backlog of orders for the 2022 model, and long waitlists have formed for the high-performance Z06 version coming for the 2023 model year, elevating demand for lightly-used versions.”
Two new-for-2021 subcompact SUVs make the list: the Chevrolet Trailblazer and the Kia Seltos. “The Chevrolet Trailblazer has been in high demand since its debut, and had a 65.6 percent decrease in new car sales in the first quarter of 2022 due to supply constraints,” said Brauer. “Similarly, the Kia Seltos decreased in sales by 33.8 percent over the same period, meaning a lack of inventory combined with a surge in gas prices has boosted demand for used versions of these small SUVs.”
Five Toyotas make the list including the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid compact SUV, the Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck, the Toyota Sienna minivan, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, and the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid. “Toyota is one of the automakers with the lowest inventories, and demand for the RAV4 Hybrid, Corolla Hybrid, the hybrid Sienna minivan, and Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid exceeds supply, especially amid high gas prices,” said Brauer. “The Toyota Tacoma continues to dominate the midsize pickup truck market as used versions command a premium amid inventory constraints.”
Two full-size SUVs from General Motors also make the list: the Chevrolet Suburban and the GMC Yukon. “Demand for full-size SUVs continues to grow as both of these vehicles saw increases in sales for the first quarter of 2022 over 2021,” said Brauer. “With the low inventory of these popular models, buyers are willing to pay extra for lightly-used models.”
Two subcompact cars round out the list: the Kia Rio and the Hyundai Accent. “These vehicles are among the most affordable cars on the market, and the surge in used car prices have made economical cars like these the only affordable options for many consumers,” said Brauer. “It’s likely buyers see their used car price tags of under $20,000 and don’t comparison shop against new prices for the same models, which cost about $2,000 less – assuming you can find one on a dealer lot.”
For a list of new cars that are the most expensive over their used versions, refer to the full study.
When deciding between a new and a lightly-used version of the same vehicle, there are important things to consider. “While buying lightly-used typically provides upfront cost savings compared to buying new, this is no longer the norm in today’s market,” said Brauer. “Shoppers looking for lightly-used cars should always compare the prices to new cars, and buyers who are unable to find the new car they want should avoid vehicles with the highest used-car price increases if they decide to go used instead.
iSeeCars.com analyzed over 1.5 million cars sold between April 1, 2022 and April 30, 2022. New cars included in the analysis were from model years 2021 and 2022, while lightly-used cars were defined as used vehicles from model years 2020 and 2021. Low-volume models were excluded from the analysis, as were cars with outlier mileages and models discontinued as of the 2021 model year. The average asking prices of the lightly-used cars were compared to those of new cars from the same model. The difference in price for each car was expressed as a percentage of the new average prices and ranked by this difference.
iSeeCars.com is a car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars VIN check reports and Best Cars rankings. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $337 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.
This article originally appeared on iSeeCars.com.