Buying A Used Car? Choosing A Less Popular Model Could Save You Money

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, buying a used car has become increasingly difficult. From skyrocketing prices to insanely low availability, the right vehicle isn’t always easy to find. One of the largest causes of this issue is the chip shortage. A low supply of microchip availability has halted production for many models, meaning no new inventory is being delivered to dealerships. This type of inventory shortage causes price hikes, especially with used vehicles. Since the used vehicles are the only ones available, customers in need have no choice but to overpay for the dealership’s premium price tag. A great way to avoid overpaying for a used vehicle right now is to try purchasing a less popular model.

The 2021 Ford Bronco off-roading
2021 Ford Bronco | Ford

The reason a less popular model will save you money is that no one else wants them. Dealerships and other sellers are well aware of the vehicle models that everyone wants. Vehicles like the Ford Bronco are being sold for outrageous amounts far above sticker price. That’s because there is a massive demand for the Bronco. People have preordered so many Broncos that the automaker can’t keep up with production. Dealers are taking advantage of the low amount of product by selling the vehicles they are able to get for much more than they should.

There are plenty of other examples of this, but none of them include a less popular type of vehicle. Not only are some of the less popular vehicles more available despite the chip shortage, but they also aren’t receiving an upcharge. If loads of people aren’t coming in looking for a specific model, the seller knows it can’t make more money than it should from the lone customer who comes in for one. That’s why, if possible, you should look for a less popular model. When buying a used car, that’s currently your best bet for a fair price.

a blue 2019 toyota tundra driving down a dirt road
2019 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

The most popular vehicle types in America are pickup trucks and SUVs. Anything outside of those two segments will likely be a great choice. Inside of those segments, options like the 2019 Lexus RX, Audi Q7, Buick Enclave, and Mazda CX-5 are bit more under-the-radar for quality SUVs. Some of the best used pickup truck options aren’t that popular as far as models go. The 2012 Toyota Tundra, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Nissan Titan are all quality options and can be purchased for under $15,000, according to KBB.

Moving into other vehicle types, you really can’t go wrong. Sedans and coupes aren’t as popular as they once were, and you’ll generally be fine to purchase whichever you want for a fair price. A great alternative option to SUVs is minivans. Minivans provide all the same space, sometimes more, and modern ones put the luxury in the term luxury vehicle. Some may even say minivans are a whole lot better than SUVs.

Though it may be tough to find something you really like, doing your research and locating a fairly priced used vehicle is essential. Dealerships are struggling with a lack of inventory, and are currently trying to make more money any way they can. They’re willing to pay a premium price for your trade-in to fill their inventory, so take advantage of that. Most importantly, try to find a high-quality but less popular vehicle model to ensure you’re not getting ripped off. Buying a used car is always difficult, but in 2021 it may be worse than ever.

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