Even though the used car sales are setting records due to a shrinking new car inventory, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find a quality used car for an affordable price. Our friends at iSeeCars.com released a new study that revealed the best-used car bargains under $15,000.
Often with pre-owned cars, buyers focus on the brands they know like Honda and Toyota that have a reputation for building quality products. However, due to the popularity of those models and the fact that those brands tend not to depreciate all that much, buyers on a budget often are finding older cars, with higher miles, and limited or no warranty left.
The most recent iSeeCars study focused on the cars that depreciate the most within the first three years which may offer shoppers in the sub $15,000 price point a better value for their money by offering them a newer car with fewer miles, and likely some warranty coverage.
Here is the methodology behind the data -
iSeeCars.com analyzed more than 5.7 million new cars from model year 2017 sold between January and June 2017, and more than 1.2 million used cars from the same model year sold between January and June 2020. Prices from 2017 were inflation-adjusted to 2020 dollars, based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The difference in average price for the same model across the two time periods was calculated as a percentage of the average price in 2017, adjusted statistically for sales volume and new car pricing. Heavy-duty vehicles, vehicles discontinued prior to the 2020 model year, and low-volume vehicles were excluded from further analysis, with the exception of sports cars and alternative-fuel vehicles, which were analyzed separately.
With most buyers pivoting to crossovers, sedans dominate the list for affordable car values:
The Ford Fusion Hybrid and traditional ICE version top the list, and while Ford has decided to retire these models at the end of their production run that doesn’t mean they should be avoided in the pre-owned market.
In fact, shoppers looking for a comfortable and stylish mid-size sedan can find three-year-old examples with really low miles if they look carefully.
The overall theme with the study is that to maximize value at the lower price points, buyers may want to consider quality vehicles with harder depreciation. For more data including the best values, on electric cars, trucks, and SUVs check out the full study at iSeeCars.com.