Used Cars Stop Doing What Buyers Complain About: Depreciating

Tyler Anderson
by Tyler Anderson
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used cars stop doing what buyers complain about depreciating

Buying a new car instead of purchasing a used one is almost justified, if one takes a close look at the numbers.

The average new-car payment is now $712. That, of course, is due at least in part to demand being higher than supply. It’s not that Americans are buying fewer new cars than they used to, with sales having peaked at 17.4 million in 2016 and hovering around there until the Covid pandemic hit. It’s that they can’t.

The chip shortage and chronic supply chain issues mean that when it comes to the desire to purchase a new car post-pandemic, it’s about how willing people are to buy what’s available, while possibly paying over the asking price.

The average cost of buying a new car in May 2022 was $47,148, or about the same as a Kia Telluride SX with all-wheel drive and the Towing Package. Conversely, high demand for new cars means the same for used cars.

You might think you’ll get a better deal with a used car, but you likely won’t. Look for a used Kia Telluride and you’ll find that they’re consistently selling for more than MSRP. That’s the case with most models released just before 2020 or after. The Telluride, with its numerous accolades, is the most prominent victim of demand.

But keep looking, and you’ll see that any redesigned Honda Civic, any Mazda CX-30, virtually any car released this decade will be asking for more as a lightly used car. You may soon realize it may make more sense to buy a new one with no miles put on it.

Just don’t spend more than $47,000. I’ll be mad at you.

[Image: Kia]

Tyler Anderson
Tyler Anderson

Contributor; Walking car questionnaire on the automotive spectrum, 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF & 2012 Buick LaCrosse

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  • Don Mynack Don Mynack on Jun 24, 2022

    The current used car market has convinced me to not be on the used car market, at least until the recession hits. Better to just sit on the cash unless I really need something. The old Taco isn't likely to give up the ghost in the next couple years.

  • Gregtwelve Gregtwelve on Jun 24, 2022

    I bought my wife's current car - at the time a 1 year old 2018 Buick Lacrosse Premium from Carvana in 2019 for $24,000 with 14,000 miles. The original MSRP was $42K. (Great car by the way). I just checked Carvana and 4 years later they have a 2018 Lacrosse Essence which is one level below premium with 36K miles for $27,590. Yikes!

    • Johnds Johnds on Jun 25, 2022

      I guess the only problem with the lacrosse would be the 3.6 V6 failing, but if you change the oil every 3-5k that really helps out.

  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Jun 24, 2022

    Just going to hang onto this Accord and enjoy the no-payment in a few months! I would still make 85% back on the car if I sold it tomorrow! If not more!

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jun 26, 2022

    Random Consumer Update - June 26, 2022: Had the vehicle out Friday and topped off (from half a tank) with petroleum; had the other vehicle out yesterday and topped off (from half a tank) with petroleum -- because I've decided that fuel prices are going UP not down from here and I don't want to be purchasing gasoline between now and July 4 if I can help it. So there's $100 that won't be taking up space in my bank account anymore. Was idling at a traffic light (my vehicle burns fuel while stopped - does yours?) and watched a Tesla turn the corner (might have been white, might have been a Model 3, don't take my word for it I'm not too bright) and did a quick calculation of that vehicle owner's cost for petroleum and I checked it again but I kept coming back to ZERO and I found that particular number at that particular time to be appealing to the senses. He/she probably ran out of charge just out of my sight, but I didn't witness it. Also the rear bumper probably fell off a few miles down the road, but then again was that the S or the 3? (It was the 3. Was there a design revision in May of 2019? Probably.) 2019 -- Wow -- Seems like an eternity ago. Finally cancelled Netflix last night. Those jokers just don't know when to stop with the price increases.