New car sales are slowing down and due to the rising average cost of a brand new model, more buyers are pivoting to the preowned market. It’s no secret that letting someone else take the depreciation can result in a better value for your dollar, but a new study from iSeeCars examines which models can get you the most for your money.
Even though the new car versus used car debate will continue to rage on in comment sections until long after we are all reduced to dust (look on my posts, ye mighty, and despair), I have always approached the puzzle at least within a professional context on a case-by-case basis. Often if a buyer is shopping for a lightly used non-luxury model in the $25,000-$30,000 range, the used cars don’t present a ton of value once you factor in the discounts on a new model. However, the sub $20,000 range is where pre-owned cars really shine.
While even base model versions of cars like Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla come fairly well equipped these days, folks on a budget don’t have to sacrifice space, power, or amenities if they are open to some pre-owned models with steep depreciation curves.
According to iSeeCars.com, these models are the best-used bargains as these cars are worth roughly half of what they originally retailed for, three years prior.
What dominates the list are mid-size and large sedans mostly from American and Korean brands. They’re also pretty good cars, just ones that were never very popular. There is also the VW and the Fiat that may be a bit of a gamble from a reliability perspective.
This is also somewhat useful information for new car shoppers. They may want to avoid the above models as they could be in for a shock when it comes time to trade that car in, but pre-owned buyers can score a nice comfortable ride for not a lot of cash.