Record savings on used cars despite rising prices, Edmunds reports


Used car prices have reached a new high.

But shoppers still can take advantage of record savings on used cars, because the gap between used and new models “has reached the widest point that the industry has ever seen.”

On average, savings from buying a three-year-old vehicle instead of new have increased nearly $3,000 since last year to about $13,300 from $10,600, said Edmunds’ latest Used Car Report, with savings ranging as high as 48 percent compared to the same model purchased new.

Savings on used cars
Photo credit: BMW via NewsPress USA
The BMW 3 Series offers biggest savings on used versus new model.

“Near-new vehicles offer greater savings now than they ever have before, thanks to a constant supply of off-lease vehicles and a shortage of older vehicles in the market,” said Ivan Drury of Edmunds.

The average used-car price now is $22,489, while the average new-car price is $35,828, said Edmunds.

Edmunds reached its conclusion after sampling the values of three-year-old vehicles compared to new models for the 20 top-selling used vehicles in America, ranging from the Toyota RAV4 at No. 20 with 29 percent savings to the BMW 3 Series at No. 1 with 48 percent savings.

The biggest savings are for three-year-old luxury midsize cars, sports cars and large cars at 48 percent, 45 percent and 43 percent, respectively, when compared to their new counterparts, the automotive research company reported. The least amount of savings was on midsize trucks, luxury large cars and large trucks, averaging 27 percent, 30 percent and 33 percent.

Edmunds expects the savings on used cars to continue “in a predictable manner into the near future unless tariff policy changes come into play” and new-car buyers shift their sights to near-new.

Savings by model

  1. BMW 3 Series, 48 percent
  2. Chevrolet Malibu, 46 percent
  3. Chevrolet Cruze, 45 percent
  4. Ford Focus, 44 percent
  5. Ford Fusion, 42 percent
  6. Nissan Altima, 42 percent
  7. Chevrolet Equinox, 41 percent
  8. Ram 1500, 40 percent
  9. Ford Escape, 39 percent
  10. Toyota Camry, 38 percent
  11. Jeep Grand Cherokee, 38 percent
  12. Hyundai Sonata, 37 percent
  13. Honda Accord, 36 percent
  14. Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 35 percent
  15. Jeep Wrangler, 33 percent
  16. Honda Civic, 33 percent
  17. Ford F-150, 32 percent
  18. Toyota Corolla, 32 percent
  19. Honda CR-V, 30 percent
  20. Toyota RAV4, 29 percent

The highest-priced vehicles on the list, used or new, are the BMW 3 Series, Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Jeep Wrangler and Ford F-150.

Savings by category

  1. Luxury midsize car, 48 percent
  2. Sports car, 45 percent
  3. Large car, 43 percent
  4. Midsize car, 41 percent
  5. Luxury compact SUV, 40 percent
  6. Van, 40 percent
  7. Luxury subcompact SUV, 39 percent
  8. Luxury large SUV, 39 percent
  9. Luxury compact car, 39 percent
  10. Luxury midsize SUV, 39 percent
  11. Large SUV, 38 percent
  12. Luxury sports car, 38 percent
  13. Subcompact car, 37 percent
  14. Subcompact SUV, 37 percent
  15. Luxury subcompact car, 36 percent
  16. Compact car, 36 percent
  17. Midsize SUV, 35 percent
  18. Compact SUV, 33 percent
  19. Minivan, 33 percent
  20. Large truck, 33 percent
  21. Luxury large car, 30 percent
  22. Midsize truck, 27 percent

One more thing Edmunds suggests is predictable.

If you spot a used vehicle you want, you better not wait too long until you buy it.

Edmunds said three-year-old vehicles are sitting on the lot for an average of only 38 days, which is the lowest the research company has on record for any quarter back to 2005.