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Recently, we’ve written a good bit about the rising cost of used cars. To be fair, there are a few that have lost value over the last year. But in general, expect to pay almost 10% more for a used car. Unless you buy a used BMW 5 Series, that is. The 5 Series is already more than 25% pricier than it was last October.

Looking at the list of vehicle types compiled by iSeeCars, coupes and convertibles have gained the most value this year. Trucks come in a little further behind those. But if you look at minivan prices, their prices have barely increased at all.

Why are used cars getting more expensive?

BMW 5 Series in blue
BMW 5 Series | BMW

The short answer is that it’s a supply and demand issue. The pandemic caused a lot of people to lose their jobs, which meant most of the country started trying to save money. Fewer people buying new cars meant there were fewer used cars available for people to buy. And those who had to buy a car were more likely to buy used.

With more people interested in buying used cars than were already on the market, prices started going up. We also wouldn’t be surprised if higher prices on used cars discouraged a few people from buying at all. After all, it could make sense to hold off for a few more months, get the vaccine, and hope prices drop quickly.

And this means we should buy used minivans?

Kind of. If your lifestyle means it would be a poor decision to buy a minivan, then buy something that makes more sense for you. But as we mentioned earlier, used car prices are up 9.5% or an average of $2,193 since October of last year. Minivans, though? The prices on those have only gone up 2% or $1,126.

It’s definitely cooler to get a pickup truck even if you’ll only haul something occasionally, and lots of families use their trucks for kid duty. So please don’t hear that we’re anti-pickup truck here. It’s just that used trucks got 14% more expensive over the last year, with prices increasing $4,413. Odds are, your money will go further if you put it toward a minivan.

Are there any minivans you recommend?

There are, but that also depends on what you’re looking for in a minivan. For example, if you want a lot of car for your money, look at the Chrysler Pacifica. Its resale value actually dropped since last October, meaning you’ll pay 5.5% less than a year ago.

The Kia Sedona would also be a great option to consider since it lost 1.9% of its value this year. Consumer Reports gives the Sedona a solid review, ranking it second among minivans. The minivan in the top slot? That would be the Toyota Sienna.

Surprisingly, the Honda Odyssey is all the way down in fourth, only edging out the Chrysler Pacifica. If you care more about the driving experience, the Honda and Chrysler both killed it in CR’s road test. They tied for first in that category even though they have the lowest scores overall.

A big factor in those lower scores is predicted reliability. If you want a reliable minivan, get a Toyota Sienna. (What else is new?) Not only did it take the top spot overall, it’s also got the best reliability score.


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