Used car prices are rising to record levels and finding a “value” in the pre-owned market is more challenging than ever. According to a new study by iSeeCars.com, buyers in some areas of the country are paying substantially more compared to other regions.
Due to serious inventory shortages for new models, some buyers have no choice but to buy something used and this is the primary factor driving up the market. Even “common” cars like CR-Vs and RAV4s are being advertised as pre-owned models with prices above their original MSRPs. Depending on where you live you could be paying upwards of twenty percent over the average.
From the study-
iSeeCars analyzed 8 million car sales to determine where drivers pay the most and least for used cars. The shares of trucks, SUVs, passenger cars (defined as sedans, coupes, convertibles, hatchbacks, and wagons), and minivans within each state were also calculated and used as ranking metrics across states.
Looking at the chart, it would make sense that more remote areas like Alaska and Wyoming would have higher prices due to much lower inventory compared to larger metros. iSeeCars also provided a city-by-city breakdown which shows a different perspective.
The highest prices are clustered in the Southeast, Texas, and California. Of course, the key thing to keep in mind here is that these prices are “averages” so areas, where more expensive cars are popular are going to drive up the average price.
In terms of finding some savings, if you live in these higher-priced areas it is certainly advisable to cast a wider net, but keep in mind that if you are focusing on a specific model you aren’t likely to see dramatic price differences for that particular car between one city and a nearby metro. What I strongly recommend for buyers right now is to not only open up their search geographically but to also keep an open mind and consider models that aren’t as popular.
Check out the full study including which body styles command the highest prices at iSeecars.com.