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Discover the Most Cost-Effective Used Car with This Calculation - Plus 10 Top Models

There are many benefits to buying a used car instead of a new one. Used cars are often much cheaper than new cars, and they don't depreciate as quickly.

December 27, 2022
9 minutes
minute read

There are many benefits to buying a used car instead of a new one. Used cars are often much cheaper than new cars, and they don't depreciate as quickly. This means that you can save a lot of money by buying a used car instead of a new one.

However, the ongoing chip shortage has caused a limited supply of new cars and trucks, resulting in a surge in demand for used cars and pushing prices much higher. This has reduced the value of buying pre-owned vehicles.

Although prices have cooled slightly, older cars are still in demand and priced accordingly.

To get the best value for your money, a recent iSeeCars study analyzed more than 2 million cars to see which used models are priced the lowest and offer the longest remaining lifespan. The report then ranked those models based on the cost per remaining mile calculation to determine which used cars are the best deal.

The Chevrolet Impala is the most affordable car on the list, costing an average of just $9,700. It also has one of the longest lifespans, with an average remaining lifespan of 120,000 miles.

The Toyota Prius is a great deal for anyone looking for a reliable and fuel-efficient car. With a price tag of less than $14,000, it's a great option for those on a budget. Plus, it can last for up to 130,000 miles, making it a wise investment for the long term.

Other top contenders for the best family car include the Kia Sedona, Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Ridgeline and Ford Fusion. These cars come in a range of styles, including sedans, SUVs, minivans and a pickup truck, so there's sure to be one that's perfect for your family's needs.

According to a recent report, the average price of a 10-year-old car or truck is just $11,819. The report found that these vehicles have over 105,000 miles remaining on them, which is more than 47% of their lifespan.

According to Karl Brauer, executive analyst for iSeeCars.com, shoppers can buy a 10-year-old car that costs substantially less than 1- to 5-year-old used models, yet these vehicles still have 80,000 or more miles of life left in them.

The Toyota Prius, Toyota Avalon and Honda Ridgeline are all cars that can last for 125,000 miles or more. This is thanks to their reliable engines and quality construction. If you're looking for a car that will last you a long time, these are all great options to consider.

Interest rate hikes have made financing a car more expensive. 10 cars have the greatest potential lifespan. Car deals are difficult to find.

The Honda Fit is the most affordable 5-year-old car, costing an average of just $18,486. It also has a remaining lifespan of over 150,000 miles, which is almost 75% of its total life. The Civic and Prius are also great choices for affordable 5-year-old cars.

The Toyota Camry, Corolla and Avalon all made the top 10 list of best 5-year-old used cars for the money. Overall, five Toyotas made the list, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable and affordable used car.

The report looked at 10-year-old models priced between $9,000 and $19,000, as well as 5-year-old models priced between $18,000 and $26,000. The average remaining lifespan for the 10-year-old models is more than 100,000 miles, while the average remaining lifespan for the 5-year-old models is more than 150,000 miles.

Ivan Drury, director of insights at car-shopping comparison website Edmunds, offers five tips for anyone in the market for a used car. Beyond the standard advice to check for excess wear and tear, request a vehicle history report and bring the car to a repair shop for an inspection, Drury recommends considering the following factors when shopping for a used car.

1. The idea that a car's value decreases significantly after it reaches 100,000 miles is a myth, according to Drury. Durability has improved significantly over the last decade, so "100,000 is not the mileage threshold it used to be."

"Used car values do not drop sharply at 100,000 miles," he said. "Instead, they continue to decline gradually up to and past 100,000, almost all the way to 150,000."

2.    There are benefits to being "basic": according to Drury, choosing widely popular models has an added advantage when it comes to buying a used car.

If you want to make sure you can easily find a repair shop or dealership that is familiar with your car model and has replacement parts readily available, it is advisable to buy a mainstream, high-volume model. This can save you money on maintenance in the long run.

3.    Drury said that it is often better to stick with a brand that you have had a positive experience with in the past, as opposed to choosing a cheaper option that may cause you more stress in the long run.

4.    Check the comps: When you're looking for a used car, it's important to check out comparables on sites like Edmunds, CarMax, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist. This will help you see which models are really capable of going the distance.

Drury advises that even if you're looking at a 2015 model year vehicle, you should research older model years to see how many miles others have driven and their prices for future predictions of value retention.

5.    Be ready to jump on a good deal: With demand still elevated, lower-priced used vehicles will not last long on the market, so be prepared to act quickly, he said.

According to data from Edmunds, a five-year-old, $25,000 car will only last 39 days on the lot, on average. For a 10-year-old, $12,000 car that number falls to just 27 days.

Cathy Hills
Associate Editor
Eric Ng
John Liu
Editorial Board
Bryan Curtis
Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Cathy Hills
Associate Editor

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