These Are the Best and Worst Places to Buy a Used Car

Have you ever wondered if skipping over to the next county or state might help you find a cheaper used car than in your backyard? Scanning different sites on the web can sometimes give you a rough idea of what it’s like on the other side of the tracks. But now we have data that shows which cities really have less-expensive used cars.

Where are the cheapest used cars?

used cars
Affordable used cars | Getty

The folks at the Clunker Junker site have pulled data from Cars.com to help it formulate where it’s better to buy. It also used housing prices, and other data to factor into its conclusions. First, it determined that Jersey City, New Jersey, is the best place to look for a used car. 

It also listed Jersey City as the most affordable city for its populous in the U.S. And the most expensive city. Clunker Junker says that’s Anchorage, Alaska. 

What it found was that overall, used cars are cheaper by 9%. That’s based on the national average. From there, five of the ten are in Florida. They are Miami at 7.95% less, then Tampa, Hollywood, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale at 3.92% less. California has two, Santa Ana and Huntington Beach at 6.97% cheaper. The last two are Detroit at 5.98% less and Cleveland. 

How was the cheapest used car data evaluated?

used cars
Affordable used cars | Getty

They didn’t just throw darts at a wall. The data comes from over 183,000 Cars.com listings. It then factored in the 200 biggest cities and looked at 14 used cars from different automakers. Altogether compiled, it produced these results. 

On the flip side, Anchorage is almost 10% more expensive to purchase a used car. Number two and three are El Paso, Texas, and Wichita, Kansas at 8.09% higher. But they weren’t done yet.

Looking at the 200 cities, and their wage averages, it looked at what percent of those wages it took to purchase an average used car. That resulted in determining the most affordable places to live. As mentioned earlier, Jersey City is No.1. It only takes 37.4% of the annual income for a used car.

And the least affordable cities…

used cars
Affordable used cars | Getty
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The next two are Seattle and Tacoma in Washington. Both came in at around 41% of annual income. Surprisingly, three Southern California cities are in the Top 10. They are Huntington Beach at 43.1% of annual income, nearby Santa Ana, and Los Angeles at 47.4% of average annual income. 

For the least affordable cities, the top three, and four of the 10, are in Texas. El Paso cuts into almost 80% of annual income to purchase an average used car. Next is Lubbock at 72.2%, Amarillo at 69.6%, and in ninth is Corpus Christi where it takes 66% of annual income for a used car. Most of the remaining cities are in the southern part of the country.

So for those living in or near Jersey City, and you’re looking around for a good used car, you’re golden.