Roughly 36 million used vehicles are sold in the United States every year. While they’re less expensive than new vehicles, used cars are not always an inexpensive option. Modern used vehicles are so well built that they can almost compete with new cars in total value. If you are a seller, this is fantastic news. However, if you are a buyer, you may have to look a little harder for a deal.
Used value factors
The basic value of a used car is the average of the dealer quote and the seller quote. Beyond that, specific factors become the determining variables in the actual selling price. Established services like Kelley Blue Book utilize hundreds of analytical factors in vehicle value estimates. These values are referenced by both dealers and private sellers to set prices for selling, and by buyers to avoid overpaying.
- Mileage, wear, and tear. The most important factor by far is mileage since it directly relates to vehicle wear. A 2014 vehicle with 20,000 miles may hold a higher value than a 2017 with 100,000 miles even though it is three years older. As vehicle wear increases, so does the risk of random problems that a new owner may have to deal with. This can be offset if the previous owner has kept good records and can prove that scheduled maintenance has been performed.
- Local demand. Location is also a major factor in vehicle value. In mountainous areas or regions with poor weather, 4x4s and SUVs will hold a higher value than sports cars with low suspensions. Conversely, in areas with predominantly sunny weather, sports cars and convertibles will hold higher values.
- Vehicle condition and appearance can have a significant impact on value. Scratched or missing paint, dents, damaged upholstery, and unrepaired mechanical issues will cause a vehicle’s value to plummet. Additionally, customizations can lower market value. For example, custom paint jobs, modified suspensions, giant wing kits/spoilers, and even ground effect lights can limit the appeal of a vehicle to just a few individuals who want those specific features.
- Other variables. Finally, external factors can also influence the value of used vehicles. For example, when gas prices spike, consumers will gravitate toward smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. As prices drop, a surge in trucks and SUVs can be observed. The demand for these specific vehicles affects the value as buyers are willing to pay more for the perceived benefits.
Used vehicles with good value retention
Vehicles that hold their value are not necessarily the most expensive vehicles when new. As mentioned earlier, reliability, wear and demand all factor into the equation. Here are some of the best used vehicles when it comes to retaining value.
2014 Toyota Corolla
Ranging from $10,000 to $15,000, this reliable and efficient compact car comes with many standard safety features.
2016 Toyota Camry
Priced under $15,000, the Camry is quiet, roomy, and comes with a touchscreen display and backup cameras.
2015 Toyota Tundra
Averaging around $25,000, this “workhorse” pickup truck can haul 1,700 pounds and tow over 10,000.
2014 Ford F-150
This series of trucks holds value extremely well, with most models newer than 2013 commanding more than $25,000.
2018 Toyota Highlander
Retaining nearly 80% of its original value, this SUV can seat eight people while still achieving 27mpg on the highway.
2004 Nissan Armada
Nearly unchanged visually since 2004, the Armada offers third-row seating, can tow over 9,000 pounds, and is worth nearly $11,000 even after 15 years.
2010 Ford Mustang
With up to 315 horsepower, this model year Mustang can fetch over $11,000 on average.
If you want to see more used vehicles that offer incredible value for the dollar, please take a look at our inventory online. If you are in the Orlando area, stop in and see for yourself. We would love to help you find the vehicle that’s just right for you.