The Electric Vehicles and Hybrids Ruling the Used Car Market in 2018

If you’ve checked auto sales lists in the past year, you know the hottest sellers have been crossovers, and new models seem to hit the market every month. But that’s not the entire story.

Over on the used market, you’ll find everything from the Cadillac XT5 to the Mazda CX-9 among the slowest sellers of 2018. In a September 10 report from, you can see how late-model (2015-17) SUVs and luxury sedans have struggled.

Yet the iSeeCars data showed the exact opposite sort of demand for electric vehicles and hybrids. In fact, the five used cars that sold the quickest this year all have electric motors powering them to some degree. Here’s a look at the hottest sellers on the used market in 2018.

5. Chevrolet Volt

Front three-quarter view from passenger side of 2017 Chevy Volt in dark red
2017 Chevrolet Volt | General Motors

For the 2016 model year, the Chevrolet Volt got a redesign with more power and range. By pushing the electric range to 53 miles (420 miles total), it made the car mainly an EV for drivers. However, it still starts around $34,000, making it an expensive proposition even with the tax credit ($7,500) coming off the top.

Over on the used market, that price for models from the last three years came way down. On average, Volt sold for $19,481 through the first seven months of the year, and it only lasted 34.3 days on the market. That’s 12 days faster than the average (46.4 days).

4. Toyota Prius

Profile view of 2016 Prius Two Eco
2016 Toyota Prius Two Eco | Toyota

The Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid wasn’t the only fuel economy leader getting a redesign for 2016. Toyota Prius, the most economical car of its generation, pushed its EPA-estimate to an amazing 56 mpg in the Eco trim┬áthat year.

While it didn’t make any sales gains in the last few years, iSeeCars data showed it has been in hot demand as a used car. The 2015-17 Prius sold in 33.4 days on average through the first seven months of this year. Average transaction prices for the Prius ($18,565) weren’t that low, either.

Its status as one of the most reliable cars of the decade likely had something to do with it.

3. BMW i3

2016 BMW i3 | BMW

In the case of the BMW i3, this model sells both as a battery-only EV (81 or 114 miles) and a plug-in hybrid (150 or 180 total miles). With new prices running buyers well over $40,000 without options, it’s a safe bet used car shoppers come looking for a bargain.

The data from iSeeCars showed that prices did indeed drop significantly for the i3 (to an average of $23,964). Since the longer ranges came in the 2017 model year, we’d guess these are the ’15 and ’16 editions selling fast on the used market. On average, this BMW plug-in left the lot in 33 days, or 13 days faster than the typical vehicle.

2. Tesla Model S

image of 2016 tesla model S
2016 Tesla Model S | Tesla

No car holds its value quite like a Tesla Model S. Looking at model years 2015-17, iSeeCars data showed the Model S selling at an average transaction price of $70,861. While that’s below the six-figure average for a new model, that’s still a hefty sum for a used car.

However, that didn’t stop buyers from picking one up shortly after it hit the used market. On average, a Model S took just 32 days to sell. That’s two weeks faster than the typical car and about a month quicker than the slowest on the market.

1. Toyota Prius C

2016 Toyota Prius C | Toyota

There’s no used car selling quicker than the Toyota Prius C in 2018. The smallest Prius rated at 50 mpg combined for 2015-16, making it one of the most economical cars around. Meanwhile, its strong reliability ratings mean it’s probably only getting started after a few years on the road.

Average Prius C transaction prices ($15,003) put it in just about every buyer’s wheelhouse, and the data showed these cars weren’t sticking around for long. Prius C sold in an average of 29.6 days — 17 days faster than the average and 38 days better than the slowest on the used market.