If you need any indication of how bonkers the used car market is right now, it’s this: some cars are more expensive to buy used than to buy new.
iSeeCars, a site dedicated to comparing the relative costs of used cars, has released a new study that illustrates just how wild the market it. Starting in June 2021, the new-used price gap narrowed drastically, to the point where some used vehicles actually became more expensive than their new counterparts.
Here’s a list of those cars, followed by a percent that represents how much more expensive these used cars are than their new, base model counterparts:
- Kia Telluride, 8.1 percent
- GMC Sierra 1500, 6.4 percent
- Toyota Tacoma, 5.2 percent
- Mercedes-Benz G-Class, 4.1 percent
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, 3.9 percent
- Toyota Tundra, 3.7 percent
- Dodge Challenger, 3.5 percent
- Toyota 4Runner, 3.3 percent
- Hyundai Palisade, 2.9 percent
- Tesla Model 3, 2.9 percent
- Honda Civic, 2.8 percent
- Dodge Charger, 2.3 percent
- Honda Odyssey, 1.2 percent
- Kia Rio, 0.7 percent
- Subaru Crosstrek, 0.6 percent
- Subaru WRX, 0.2 percent
On its face, it sounds silly — who would willingly spend more money on an older car if the brand-new version will be cheaper?
The main problem comes down to parts shortages, specifically with the microchips that have been next to impossible to source. If you’re looking to buy a specific, brand new car, there’s a good chance you’ll end up facing delays or will have to scour dealerships in your state trying to find the specific model you’re looking for.
For some people, paying that extra money is worth not having to wait. iSeeCars executive analyst Karl Brauer calls it “instant gratification,” but I think it’s a little more complex. I’ve had a handful of friends and family members buy cars recently for various reasons.
My stepdad hit a deer and had his car totaled, so he needed a new car ASAP. He loved the Toyota RAV4... but not one dealership within a two hour drive had one. He found a used version that cost about as much as a new one, but he’d get to take it home that day, which was good, since he needed a vehicle to commute to work that night. That extra money was worth it because he got the car he wanted when he needed it.