In tough economic times it makes sense to maximize every dollar. In terms of car buying, that suggests buying a clean used car instead of springing for the shiny new one. But is buying a used car always cheaper than buying a new vehicle? In most typical economic climates, the answer is a resounding "yes." However, the current economic climate is anything but typical. In fact, the deals on some new cars are so generous they actually make a new car less expensive than both a one-year-old used and certified pre-owned version of the same model.
To illustrate this point, Edmunds.com compared the vehicles' True Market Value® transaction prices and the interest payments typically made for each vehicle. Because used/certified pre-owned cars are generally financed at a higher rate than new cars, a shopper can actually save money by purchasing a new vehicle instead of a used version in some cases.
Since new vehicles have inherent advantages over used vehicles, we also looked at vehicles whose total payment costs for new and used were similar and have included them in our analysis. Below is a list of new vehicles that are either less expensive or nearly the same to buy when compared to their average one-year-old used counterparts:*
*Edmunds.com assumed a 60-month loan term, no down payment with a typical finance rate for new cars and a typical finance rate for one-year-old used cars. Edmunds.com added in destination charges and gas-guzzler taxes as appropriate. Of all available rebates, only national APR subvention, customer and dealer cash programs were applied; consumers should check the Edmunds.com Incentives and Rebates page to learn if they qualify for additional savings. When manufacturers offer special APR lower than market rate APR, we use the special APR in the calculation. If the vehicle has both customer cash and special APR that allows it to be eligible for this list, we will choose the one with a lower monthly payment to ensure the best program is utilized. Also, consumers should research state sales tax and registration fees to determine their total purchase costs.
Didn't see the car you wanted? Check back as this list will be updated monthly.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.