SANTA MONICA, CA — December 12, 2019 — Car shoppers feeling squeezed by rising new vehicle prices might be pleasantly surprised by how much further they can stretch their dollars in the used car market, according to the latest Used Vehicle Report released by the experts at Edmunds. Edmunds data reveals that car shoppers could have saved $14,951 on average if they purchased a 3-year-old used vehicle instead of its new equivalent in the third quarter of 2019. This is the largest average price gap between 3-year-old used and new vehicles that Edmunds has on record for the third quarter.
Thanks to a flood of off-lease trucks and SUVs entering the used car market, Edmunds experts say that shoppers no longer have to compromise on body styles and options as they have in years past. In 2019, SUVs and trucks combined will make up 52.6% of lease returns, marking the first time that they will surpass the number of off-lease passenger cars returning to the market.
"Shoppers who are priced out of the new car market will likely be very pleasantly surprised by how far their dollars can go if they buy used," said Ivan Drury, Edmunds senior manager of Insights. "Buyers can now find a huge selection of nearly new vehicles that are in excellent condition and packed with options at a very attractive price."
In this report, Edmunds analysts found that a shopper with a budget of $25,000 looking at vehicles in the new market would be confined to more mainstream brands, compact cars and subcompact SUVs, whereas a shopper with the same budget looking at the used market could also find luxury brands, compact SUVs and trucks as options to choose from. For example, a shopper purchasing new would spend $21,830 on a Honda Civic, $21,212 on a Toyota Corolla, and $23,862 on a Chevrolet Trax. But a shopper looking at the nearly new market could purchase 3-year-old BMW 3 Series for $23,237, a 3-year-old Chevrolet Colorado for $24,779, and a 3-year-old Subaru Outback for $21,081.
"Buying used will open buyers up to brands and body styles they would never be able to afford on the new market," said Drury.Looking ahead, Edmunds experts note that trend of nearly new vehicles flooding the used market doesn't have an end in sight, given that 2019 is shaping out to be another high-volume year for retail lease sales.
"As the used market grows increasingly saturated with off-lease vehicles, the price gap between new and used car prices is likely only going to continue to widen," said Drury.
To read the full report, visit the Edmunds Industry Center.
Edmunds guides car shoppers online from research to purchase. With in-depth reviews of every new vehicle, shopping tips from an in-house team of experts, plus a wealth of consumer and automotive market insights, Edmunds helps millions of shoppers each month select, price and buy a car with confidence. Regarded as one of America's best workplaces by Fortune and Great Place to Work, Edmunds is based in Santa Monica, California, and has a satellite office in Detroit, Michigan. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.