As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re finding that a lot of things are topsy turvy. Case in point: Many used vehicle models cost more right now than their newer versions.
That's the result of a recent study from car research site iSeeCars.com, which indicates that the price gap between new and slightly used cars has shrunk significantly.
Which Cars Cost More Used Than New?
The site analyzed June 2021 sales listings of more than 470,000 new and lightly used cars (2019-2020 model years) and found the following:
- The Kia Telluride leads the list, costing 8.1% more than its latest version, mainly because used models are scarce.
- Toyotas make up four of the top 10 used vehicles that cost more than their new models on the list.
- In June 2021, the average lightly used car cost only 3.1% less than its new version, down from 10.8% less in November 2020.
Let’s take a look at some of the used vehicles that cost more than their new models in June 2021, according to iSeeCars.
These Vehicles Currently Cost More Used Than New
Now that you’ve seen the used vehicles that are going for a premium, you may be wondering what has led to these increased prices. According to the report, the continuing microchip shortage has played a major role.
That shortage is, at least in part, because of the pandemic. According to a myriad of sources, including this April 2021 article in USA Today, many microchip factories shut down down last year because of the pandemic. And not long after that, demand for personal computers (which, of course, contain microchips) started to soar because more people needed to work from home.
Because of the higher prices, money expert Clark Howard says, "It's a great time to be a seller of a used vehicle, and it's a brutal time to be a buyer of a new or used vehicle."
3 Ways To Save on a New Car
Despite current conditions, there are still ways to save on a used car. Here are three steps you need to take to make sure you’re getting a good vehicle at a good price.
1. Look for a Vehicle About 4 Years Old
Clark says you can really benefit from purchasing a used vehicle that is about four years old.
“A four-year-old vehicle will have a majority of the modern safety features that would have changed over the years, and the first four years, so much of that steep depreciation has occurred,” he says.
2. Do a VIN Check
Has the car been in an accident? Is it a flood vehicle? You need to do some homework to make sure the car is in good shape.
Your first task is to check the Vehicle Identification Number: VIN.
Once you’ve researched the vehicle and want to move forward, it’s time to get it checked out.
3. Hire an Independent Mechanic To Inspect the Car
You can waste a lot of money if you don't get your car inspected before you purchase it. Even going with the dealer or owner's mechanic won't give you the peace of mind you need to make such a big purchase.
Clark recommends that you enlist an independent mechanic to check out the used vehicle before you agree to buy it.
Want more money-saving tips? Here's how to buy a used car.