With the possible exception of vintage Porsches and Ferraris, cars and trucks are inherently depreciating assets. This means that a new car can be expected to lose a good deal of its original value almost the moment it is driven from a dealer’s lot. Typically, a new vehicle loses around 20% of its original value within the first year of ownership and perhaps as much as 60% after five years on the road.
But as you may have noticed, these are not typical times.
A widespread shortage of new vehicles, fueled in large part by ongoing semiconductor supply chain issues, has sent record numbers of buyers to the used market where they often have a better chance of finding a model of their choice. Continued demand has caused prices to skyrocket. The average used car cost about $28,000 at the end of 2021, 28% more than the same time a year earlier and 42% more than at the end of pre-pandemic 2019.
In fact, used vehicle prices have gotten so out of control that some year-old cars and SUVs are commanding higher transaction prices than their brand-new counterparts. It’s according to the car search engine iSeeCars.comwho compiled a list of 15 “lightly used” one-year-old cars, trucks and SUVs that most go against conventional wisdom when it comes to depreciation, based on 1.5 million new-vehicle transactions and used followed in 2021. We’re presenting the list below, noting the percentages and dollar amounts each orders in addition to their factory fresh counterparts.
“Although choosing a lightly used car has traditionally been a cost-saving measure for car buyers, this is no longer true in today’s market, as the effects of factory closures and the resulting pent-up demand results continue,” said Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars.
iSeeCars’ list of the most overpriced used vehicles runs the gamut of types and prices, from cheap subcompact cars to the posh and powerful Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV that beats all comers in this regard. A year-old G-Class costs, on average, a whopping 35.6% markup (a sizable $62,705) over a brand-new one that starts well into six figures.
“The opulent Mercedes-Benz G-Class off-roader is a status symbol that posted record sales figures in 2021,” says Brauer. “Its success led to a dearth of new releases, forcing dealers to suspend orders in January and attracting well-funded buyers to the used-car market.”
Second on the list is the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette sports car, for which buyers are paying just over 20% more than its list price for a new vehicle. This is again consumer demand far exceeding the rate at which Chevy can build them. Dealers are said to be sitting on an order book for the 2022 model year, with pre-orders piling up for the more capable Z06 variant coming for 2023.
If you’re looking for any kind of deal in today’s tough market, you might want to avoid one of the overpriced vehicles listed here and instead look for other models, perhaps older ones that are not as demanded and commanded. less cash. Keep in mind that anything that goes up must go down, and that includes used car prices. Once industry inventory issues are resolved and new and used car prices stabilize, if you pay too much up front, you could keep a used car that quickly suffers sharp drop in its value.
15 “Lightly Used” Cars That Are More Expensive Than New Models
- Mercedes-Benz G-Class: +35.6% (+$62,705)
- Chevy Corvette: +20.2% (+$16,645)
- Tesla Model 3: +17.8% (+$8,300)
- Ford Bronco Sports: +16.4% (+$5,766)
- Chevy Trailblazer: +15.6% (+$4,270)
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: +14.8% (+$5,298)
- Chevrolet Suburban: +12.9% +($9,106)
- Toyota Tacoma: +12.2%, (+$4,530)
- Toyota C-HR: +12.2 (+:$3,230)
- Kia Telluride: +12.1% (+$5,552)
- Kia Rio: +11.7% (+$2,090)
- Subaru Crosstrek: +11.7% (+$3,524)
- GMC Yukon: +11.3% (+$8,258)
- Toyota Sienna: +11.2% (+$5,074)
- Accent Hyundai: +11.2% +($2,010)
Average: +1.3% (+$553). Source: iSeeCars.com. You can read the full report here.