The price of cheap, compact cars like the Mitsubishi Mirage and Chevrolet Spark is steadily going up — and no, not even looking for a used version will save you money.
A study from iSeeCars found that used car prices are increasing on the low-end of the market much more than at the high-end, meaning that, right now, economy cars aren’t really “economy” cars in the usual sense. And the study says the higher prices probably won’t be going down through 2022.
This comes as a surprise not only because it’s not often that so-called econoboxes like the Mitsubishi Mirage or Chevy Spark get a price hike (especially when we’re talking about used cars) but also because used car prices had started to go down — maybe even back down to normal — since the middle of this year, per iSeeCars:
“Used car prices had drifted down, slightly, since they peaked in June, but they are back on the rise again, with the average used vehicle priced nearly over $7,000 above where it was last November,” said Karl Brauer, iSeeCars’ Executive Analyst. “With microchip shortage-related plant shutdowns persisting throughout the year, automakers have not kept pace with pent-up demand, and lingering supply constraints that are expected to continue well into 2022.”
Right now, a used Mirage is up 52.3 percent, or close to $5,000, from what it would have cost last year. That brings the average price for a used Mirage to $14,404. A used Chevy Spark is up 50.7 percent, or about $5,275, which brings the average price to $15,672.
Those used prices are uncomfortably close to the MSRP of both cars when new, but I guess I can’t harp on that too much because list prices don’t mean anything anymore.
The iSeeCars study lists eight other used cars that have gotten more expensive in the last year, and they are the following:
- Nissan LEAF: Up by $8,404 for an average price of $21,524.
- Kia Forte: Up by $5,369 for an average price of $18,046.
- Kia Rio: Up by $4,790 for an average price of $16,135.
- Mini Hardtop 2 Door: Up by $7,136 for an average price of $24,788.
- Toyota Prius: Up by $6,912 for an average price of $24,121.
- Toyota Corolla: Up by $5,693 for an average price of $20,092.
- Kia Soul: Up by $5,065 for an average price of $18,069.
- Lincoln Navigator: Up by $18,476 for an average price of $66,726.
Notice that the Lincoln Navigator went up by more than the cost of a whole-ass Chevy Spark, by the way. Yikes. But I think the Nissan LEAF makes sense, and we can thank Bradley Brownell for blowing up everyone’s cheap LEAF spot. On the one hand, I’m happy that America’s cheapest cars are getting attention. But on the other, I’m not happy for those buyers who would’ve scored a deal on a once-cheap car, made even cheaper through depreciation.