People have different theories about buying new or used cars. Some always do one and never the other. For buyers who are unsure, though, a study from the automotive data and research company iSeeCars.com found that some new cars can be bought for just a few thousand dollars more than a one-year-old lightly used model. For Jeep lovers, it turns out that the Wrangler is among this group.
The iSeeCars study of prices of new and one-year-old cars
iSeeCars took a look at more than 6,000,000 vehicles that were sold between August 1, 2017, and January 24, 2018 to compare the prices of new and one-year-old vehicles. New vehicles in the study were from model years 2017 and 2018, and lightly used one-year-old vehicles were from model years 2016 and 2017 with annual miles within 20 percent of the U.S. average of 13,476 annual miles.
The study found that the new vehicles had an overall average price difference of 26.8 percent more than the one-year-old vehicles. However, there were also nine new vehicles that cost only 15 percent more than their lightly used one-year-old models, and the Jeep Wrangler was the best of the bunch.
A few vehicles that keep their value in the first year
Vehicles tend to lose a big percentage of their value during the first year of ownership, but some vehicles don’t lose as much. Phong Ly, iSeeCars’ CEO, said, “Instead of buying a car that’s been driven for one year, consumers can buy the new version for just a few thousand dollars more and take advantage of the latest and greatest technological and safety features. When spread out over the length of a car loan at an average of 5.5 years, the slightly increased monthly payments can be offset by the added warranty and dealer incentives.”
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited had the smallest percentage price difference between the new and lightly used one-year-old model – just 8.9 percent. The Toyota Tacoma and Toyota 4Runner rounded out the top three. The Tacoma had a price difference of 10.4 percent, and the 4Runner had a price difference of 12.7 percent.
Ly pointed out that “Jeeps are known for retaining their value due to their durability and performance across all terrains.” Except for the Subaru WRX sports car, the other eight are all pickup trucks and SUVs.
Not much of a savings to buy a one-year-old Jeep Wrangler
Buying a lightly used one-year-old Jeep Wrangler doesn’t save that much money over a new Wrangler, iSeeCars found. For these model years, the difference was just $3,199. The difference for the Toyota Tacoma was $3,320, and for the Toyota 4Runner, the difference was $4,605.
With different starting prices, the smallest percentage price difference didn’t always align with the smallest actual price difference. The Honda HR-V, which was seventh on the list, saved 13.8 percent between the new and used models, but it had the smallest price difference of just $2,885. The Jeep Renegade came in eighth on the list, with a 14.1 percent price difference, which was $2,897.
A few vehicles where the one-year-old model is much cheaper
For comparison, iSeeCars.com also found eight vehicles with a more than 30 percent difference between the new and one-year-old sales prices. Most were luxury sedans. The Cadillac XTS topped the list with a difference of 38.7 percent or $20,965. A Jeep did appear second on the list. iSeeCars.com pointed out that the Jeep Compass didn’t perform as well as most Jeeps. Its new model cost 34.8 percent more than the one-year-old model, or $9,652. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class rounded out the top three, with a difference of 34.5 percent or $22,919.
This new information from iSeeCars.com may be the info that Jeep Wrangler buyers are looking for. If you’re wishing for a new Wrangler, then the value you get from a new model could outweigh the savings of just a few thousand dollars from buying a used one.