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Shopping for a car can be hectic due to swollen price tags and an unstoppable tidal wave of options. However, looking at used car lots out of state could save you thousands of dollars. In fact, the cheapest state to buy a car in 2023 could be a financially beneficial trip, even with the added expense of collecting a car over a distance. Car hunters rejoice; Ohio boasts two of the cheapest metro areas in the United States to buy a used vehicle.

What is the cheapest state to buy a vehicle in?

A lot in the cheapest state to buy a used car, Ohio, shows off its supply of used cars and trucks.
An Ohio lot | Ty Wright, Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio snagged the top two spots on the list of the cheapest areas in the country to buy a used car. The Cleveland-Akron metro area was 8.1% below the national average, representing sizable savings for buyers. 

State and metro areaAverage used car price
Cleveland, Ohio$31,458
Cincinnati, Ohio$31,622
Norfolk, Virginia$31,901
Fresno, California$31,912
Orlando, Florida$31,971
Nationwide average$34,227

Furthermore, iSeeCars reported that Cincinnati took the No. 2 spot right behind Cleveland, with an average used vehicle price of $31,622. Between the two Ohio cities, urban Buckeyes will spend between $2,605 and $2,769 less than the national average in 2023.

However, iSeeCars also listed Vermont and New Hampshire as the No. 1 and No. 2 states with the lowest average used car prices as of 2022. Specifically, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Ohio were within $1,000 of each other, ranging from $31,445 to $32,833. However, Ohio’s No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the list of metro areas with the most competitive used vehicle prices secure it as the cheapest state in the U.S. for out-of-towners who want to save by traveling to another city

What are the three most expensive states to own a car?

A used car lot shows off a stock of SUVs and cars.
A dealership lot | Scott Olson, Getty Images

As of 2023, the states with the most expensive average used car prices are Florida, Colorado, and Texas. The culprits are the states’ bloated price tags in some of their metro areas, like West Palm Beach and Ft. Pierce.

State and metro areaAverage used car price
West Palm Beach/Ft. Pierce, Florida$37,632
Denver, Colorado$37,233
Austin, Texas$36,827

Unfortunately, West Palm Beach, Florida’s $37,632 average used car price could make buying a car in the state nearly 10% more expensive than the national average. Moreover, Austin, Texas, a budding tech hub, has average prices 7.6% higher than the nationwide average. It really is bad news for buyers in the three metro areas. 

What are the disadvantages of buying a car out of state?


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While buying a car in one of the cheapest states and cities could save you thousands, it could also be a hassle. For instance, shipping costs or travel inconveniences could lessen the benefits of buying out of state. 

However, in some cases, buying a cheap flight, picking up a cheap vehicle out of state, and bringing it home could still be more affordable than buying locally.

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