You are probably sick of hearing about the steady rise in used car prices. It is very much a seller’s market right now so finding a value in a pre-owned car is a challenge. A recent study from iSeeCars.com reveals the models with the most dramatic price jump compared to last year.
Before I get into the study, let’s remember some context. The data covers the price changes from April 2020 to April 2021. If you remember correctly, the Coronavirus started to make an impact on major metros in the US around March and by April many states were facing shutdowns. Dealers in several states had to suspend operations. Very few people were buying cars within the first few months of the pandemic, which all changed in late May and June. So what we are seeing with these price jumps are two extremes in the market.
The methodology for the study is as follows -
“iSeeCars.com analyzed over 800,000 used car sales from model years 2016 to 2020 in April 2021, and over 400,000 used car sales from model years 2015 to 2019 in April 2020. The average listing prices of each car model were compared between the two time periods, and the differences were expressed as both a percentage difference from the 2020 price as well as a dollar difference. Heavy-duty vehicles,low-volume vehicles, vehicles discontinued as of the 2021 model year, and vehicles with fewer than 4 of the 5 model years for each period were excluded from further analysis.”
The fact that this list is dominated by trucks and SUVs isn’t surprising. Though demand for used Vettes has cranked up likely because it’s very difficult to find allocations on the new C8, and perhaps because some traditional Corvette buyers aren’t super jazzed about the new mid-engined car. However, number nine on the list is not an optical illusion. A modest used Mitsubishi Mirage is actually worth more money now than it was the same time last year. With the exception of the Lancer Evolution, it’s a rare instance where buying a used Mitsubishi would actually make you money.
If you are in need of a used car now, the above models are to be avoided if you don’t want to “overpay” but there are some cars that haven’t had much of an increase in price.
The Tesla Model S bucks the trend of increasing values and actually lost a bit. iSeeCars says that this is likely due to the fact that more affordable offerings like the Model 3 and Model Y are having an impact on the Model S’s resale. Speaking of affordable EVs, if you want a fun rear-engined electric with a carbon-fiber body, the BMW i3 is worth a look and prices haven’t changed much since last year. You can find nice examples around the $20,000 mark.
Check out the full study including which body styles had the most dramatic price increase at iSeeCars.com