Why Used Toyota RAV4 Prices Are Bananas

The Toyota RAV4 was one of the best used SUVs to buy, but the used vehicle market has been extremely volatile. Prices for used vehicles have skyrocketed in the past year. Some RAV4 models are selling at higher prices as used models. The small SUV provides great value, but should consumers really pay over MSRP for a used RAV4? Here’s why used Toyota RAV4 prices are bonkers.

It’s a terrible time to buy a used Toyota RAV4

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Ideally, drivers should be able to get a used RAV4 with some miles on it for less than its original MSRP. Many consumers buy used vehicles over new vehicles as a way to save money. The used vehicle market, like most markets, is controlled by supply and demand.

Ever hear of the global semiconductor chip shortage? Semiconductor chips are tiny circuits found in just about every modern electronic device. Your smartphone, laptop, and toasters all use them. That’s right. You can’t even have toast without a semiconductor chip.

The United States outsources the production of most of the semiconductor chips that companies sell in the U.S. America may be responsible for a huge number of sales, but it barely produces any semiconductor chips compared to the amount needed to meet the constant demand. TSMC, or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, is responsible for a large percentage of chip production. The global pandemic has hindered that production, and companies that don’t produce their own semiconductor chips have suffered a major supply chain crisis as a result.

So, the reason it’s a terrible time to buy a used Toyota RAV4 is that some dealerships and private sellers are taking advantage of the scarcity of RAV4 models. Fewer semiconductor chips equals fewer RAV4 models, fewer RAV4 models equals higher demand, and higher demand equals used RAV4 prices that could make an onion cry.

How much is a used Toyota RAV4?

Three Toyota RAV4 small SUVs are parked.
Three Toyota RAV4 small SUVs are parked | Toyota

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ISeeCars.com conducted a survey to get an average used vehicle price on some of the most popular used vehicles. The site found that used three-year-old RAV4 models had an average price of $32,056 as of August 2022. According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 has an MSRP of $26,545 after the destination charge.

Sure, the RAV4 has a great depreciation rate, but it isn’t known to appreciate over time. KBB claims that the 2019 RAV4 has a fair purchase price of $24,163 with under 53,000 miles. The key word there is “fair.”

Buy a 2023 Toyota RAV4 instead of a used model

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The 2023 Toyota RAV4 starts at $27,575. It comes in six different trim levels. The new RAV4 may be more expensive than ever, but the base model still isn’t close to $30K (yet). If you’re in the market for a RAV4, go with a new model because used RAV4 prices are impacted by the semiconductor shortage and supply chain crises.

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