If You’re Shopping for a Used Car, Make Sure You Buy It in Wyoming

  • Wyoming has epxerienced the lowest rise in used car values in the US
  • Hawaii’s auto prices have risen an average of 40% compared to a 22% bump in Wyoming
  • Your state’s registration fees could outweigh any benefits, so check first

Folks, it’s hard out here right now. The Omicron variant is actively ruining many holiday plans, and to top it off, the used car market is in shambles. Funnily enough, those two things are very closely related. Supply chain issues have hit used cars hard, but there’s a small glimmer of hope for the auto market. The great state of Wyoming.

Wyoming has the lowest rise in used car prices

The state flag of Wyoming, featuring the state seal and a white buffalo
Wyoming has the lowest rise in used car prices in the US | Getty Images

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Turns out, the equality state (yes, people actually call it that) is a pretty good place to score on a new-to-you ride. Per a study by iSeeCars, the equality state (we’re sticking with it) is one of a small handful of places in the US not totally hamstrung by the current auto market. Overall, across all fifty US states, Wyoming experienced only a 22.8% increase in secondhand auto values. That’s a whole 5.1% less than the national average.

On the whole, the average price of a used car has risen by 27.9%. Thankfully, the state of Wyoming is kept company in its sub-23% rise in used car prices by both Vermont and Mississippi. At the other end of the spectrum, perhaps predictably, lies Hawaii, with a massive 40% year-over-year price change. To put things in hard (cash) numbers, the price of a used vehicle in Wyoming, on average, only rose by $7,424 compared to an average increase of $9,261 in Hawaii.

Is it worth it to buy a car out of state?

A full dealership car lot, a rare site given the recent rise in new car prices
A lot full of new cars ready for sale | VCG via Getty Images

However, there is a caveat to all this, before y’all go running off to Wyoming. It may not be worth it to buy that used car in Wyoming and drive or ship it all the way back home. Buying a new car out of state could actually end up overwhelming this relatively small “discount” offered in the equality state (still calling it that). Whether it does or not all comes down to your respective states’ taxes and how clear the legalese is.

For example, the Colorado county I live in is very… unhelpful. Our DMV website does not disclose whether there’s any associated fee to registering out-of-state vehicles in Colorful Colorado. Instead, fees are based on the taxable value of the purchase. However, a few other states, like Wyoming, are based on either a flat rate or on the vehicle’s age.

Is it worth it to buy used?

A full used car lot, a rare sight during this unprecedented rise in used car prices
A full used car lot is a rare sight these days | Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

For now, at least, it might be worth looking into buying that used car in Wyoming. Winters can be harsh, but most vehicles are rust-free thanks to a dry climate. It’s also extremely unlikely that your potential savings on a car will be outdone by the fees associated with registering your new whip from Wyoming. Of course, we recommend giving your state’s registration requirements a look before booking that flight to Cheyenne.

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