These 7 Best-Selling Cars In the U.S. Are Cheaper New Than Used

Although used car prices have receded a little in the past couple of months, the prices for some lightly used models are still higher than their comparable new 2022 counterparts. According to Jerry, a car insurance shopping site, seven out of 10 of the best-selling models in the U.S. have elevated used-car prices, which means you’ll be better off buying them new. Check out which models they are.

The seven makes and models that are cheaper new than used

Hyundai dealership
Hyundai vehicles sit on display | Getty

Before the pandemic, car shoppers used to be able to get thousands off the sticker price of nearly any new car. But times have changed, and any shopper would be lucky to buy nearly any new car at its MSRP. To add insult to injury, the prices of some used cars are even higher.

Jerry conducted a study that analyzed pricing for the 10 best-selling vehicles in the past year. The data shows that the following seven lightly-used 2021 vehicles carry a higher price tag than the new 2022 models.

  • Toyota RAV4 ($5,900 more)
  • Honda Civic ($5,300 more)
  • Honda CR-V ($3,800 more)
  • Toyota Camry ($3,200 more)
  • Nissan Rogue ($3,100 more)
  • Toyota Highlander ($2,100 more)
  • Ford F-Series ($100 more)

As we can see, the most popular lightly used makes and models are selling for what used to be the discounted rate off the new car price. Also, the term “lightly used” referred to cars with fewer than 20,000 miles on the odometer.

The lack of new-car supply and high demand are to blame

A bar graph showing the strong demand and price jumps for used cars over new.
A bar graph showing the strong demand and price jumps for used cars over new ones. | Jerry/iSeeCars

When taking the data into consideration, it’s easy to see that the ongoing supply-chain issues are to blame. According to Edmunds, 82% of buyers that purchased new cars in January of 2022 paid more than the sticker price. Compare that figure to the 2.8% from one year earlier, and we can see what the new norm is.

It’s unfortunate, and it’s widespread. Jerry reported that the same comparison between lightly-used and new cars also works for the electric car category. The study showed that the following EVs are worth more used than new:

  • Volkswagen ID.4 ($6,300 more)
  • Tesla Model 3 ($5,200 more)
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E ($5,200 more)

It looks like the used electric models are selling considerably more than the new ones. The larger demand for electric cars in the past year due to increasing gas prices could be a large factor.

These price jumps have affected a few U.S. states more than others

A map of the U.S. that shows an increase in used car pricing over the past 12 months.
A map of the U.S. that shows an increase in used car pricing over the past 12 months. | Jerry/iSeeCars

The new and used car price jumps can be seen all over the U.S over the past year. However, a few states like South Carolina, New York, and New Jersey have experienced a higher increase than others – around 15 to 17%. Wyoming was the state with the smallest rise year over year, with a 15% increase.

And while all of the data presented may sound like doom and gloom when it comes to any potential savings on a new or used car, it’s not. The good news is that the car market is receding a little, so there are some deals to be had depending on the car that you’re looking to get into. Just don’t expect to pay pre-pandemic prices anytime soon.

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