While buying a new car may be preferable over buying used, it’s just not an option for a growing number of consumers.
The average transaction price for a new car hit $31,252 last month according to TrueCar.com, which leaves a large number of U.S. households priced out of the new-vehicle market. A prudent, median-income household is able to afford only 54.8 percent of the average new-car cost, according to the latest Auto Buyer’s Affordability Index compiled by Requisite Press.
Not surprisingly, CNW Market Research predicts 41,250,000 used vehicles will change hands this year; that’s up slightly from 2013 but is still down from its most recent high point of 44,138,263 units in pre-recession 2005.
The good news here is that used-cars are expected to become progressively more affordable as a growing number of consumers trade in their current models for shiny new rides. Prices are predicted to fall to their lowest levels in nearly six years after an unprecedented period of inflated market values following the 2008 economic collapse and subsequent inventory shortage. By 2017, the valuation experts at ALG forecast the average new vehicle will retain 49.4 percent of its value after three years, compared to the 54.6 percent retention recorded for pre-owned models through mid-year 2014.
In the meantime, used car shoppers can find some solid – and in some cases unexpected – deals on some of the top-rated used vehicles that can be expected to deliver many years of faithful service.
To that end the folks at the used-car shopping site iSeeCars.com compiled a list of 10 used vehicles from the 2008-2012 model years that are not only expected to have among the longest life expectancy – 200,000 miles or more when properly maintained (based on an earlier study) – but were found selling for around 10 percent below their average market value.