It’s Almost Impossible To Find A Decent Used Car Under $20,000 | Automotiv

It’s Almost Impossible To Find A Decent Used Car Under ,000 | Automotiv

There are indicators that the automotive market is slowly shifting again to regular. Offers on electrical autos have gotten commonplace, and used luxurious automobiles are seeing the anticipated depreciation drops. However if you happen to’re a used automotive purchaser on a finances, a current survey revealed how tough it’s to search out one thing in that beneath $20,000 market.

There was a time not that way back when a purchaser may get one thing good like Mazda6 or maybe a Hyundai Tucson between $18,000 and $20,000; these automobiles would solely be just a few years previous with affordable miles and certain nonetheless some guarantee steadiness left. Even buyers in that $10,000 to $15,000 vary may choose up Kia Soul or a rental Nissan Sentra with mileage beneath 50,000. Now, the used automotive costs of 2019 really feel impossibly distant, and the marketplace for “low-cost” automobiles has shrunk dramatically.

A examine from analyzed used automotive gross sales from 2019 and 2023 to disclose an enormous market shift in what consumers can anticipate now versus what they had been in a position to purchase then. Right here is their methodology:

SeeCars analyzed over 10.8 million 1- to 5-year-old used automobiles bought between January and July of 2019 and 2023. Checklist costs and common odometer readings had been tallied and aggregated to check the share of automobiles at varied value factors throughout the 2 durations, in addition to to check the common mileage of automobiles earlier than and after the COVID-19 pandemic. A choice of best-selling autos had been analyzed and ranked by the change in share of automobiles priced beneath $20,000 from 2019 to 2023.

The outcomes are staggering, although not terribly shocking, given the provision constraints and inflated costs of the previous two to a few years.


In accordance with the info, in 2019, sub-$20,000 automobiles had been nearly 50 p.c of the market; now, lower than 13 p.c of the used automotive market are “reasonably priced” rides. The largest drop is that $10,000 to $15,000 vary, the place about 20 p.c of used automobiles might be present in 2019, now that’s 1.5 p.c. Additionally, if you happen to take a look at the common mileage vary from the 2019 market within the $10,000 to $20,000 value level, it was potential to get one thing and have a minimum of some powertrain protection remaining. In case you are purchasing these automobiles in 2023, you’re looking at some increased mileage fashions.

A take a look at among the hottest used automotive fashions in 2019 and 2023 reveals some large value jumps for what was very reasonably priced fashions:

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Used Camrys and Civics are as much as $8,000 dearer than they had been simply 4 years in the past. A used Elantra is as much as $5,000 dearer in comparison with 2019.

These massively inflated costs in contrast with the present excessive rates of interest make purchasing in these “reasonably priced” segments tremendous tough for those who don’t have the posh of shopping for a brand new automotive. It additionally highlights as soon as once more how out of contact so-called “monetary specialists” are at giving recommendation.

For those who do end up in search of an inexpensive trip, there is no such thing as a simple resolution right here. Be as open-minded as potential, store your loans round, and ensure you get one thing inspected before you purchase it.

Tom McParland is a contributing author for Jalopnik and runs He takes the trouble out of shopping for or leasing a automotive. Bought a automotive shopping for query? Ship it to [email protected]

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