Wednesday, June 7, 2023
News Popular Used Cars are Now 26.7% Less Affordable Than They Were Three...

Popular Used Cars are Now 26.7% Less Affordable Than They Were Three Years Ago

Despite the used car market cooling down, buying a pre-owned vehicle remains far less affordable than it once was

  • This is double that of the new car rate.

  • Popular models like the Toyota RAV4 are no longer affordable for many.

Buying a used vehicle was once a smart financial option. New vehicle prices can sometimes seem inflated which is why, not that long ago, depreciation made short work of car values, rendering them affordable to most. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.

In fact, used car affordability has dropped a substantial 26.7% on average. This means that a gently-used three-year-old vehicle costs, on average, many thousands of dollars more than it did back in 2019.

“Due to supply chain shortages and increased demand, the rising prices of new and used cars have outpaced income growth,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “From August of 2019, well before the pandemic lockdowns started, to August of 2022, new car prices increased by almost 29 percent, and three-year-old used car prices increased by 52 percent, but incomes increased by only 13%. People still need to replace their vehicles, so the resulting drop in affordability means shoppers are either taking longer loan terms and paying higher interest rates, putting down less money for a down payment or even forgoing the kind of car they originally wanted for a lower cost model in order to make ends meet.”

Subaru Forester 2019

Ultra-popular compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4 have left the realm of affordability as they are now easily $10,000 more expensive used in 2022 than they were in 2019. In all, 33 different models have fallen off the “affordable boat” and unfortunately, many are sought-after family vehicles like the Ford Edge and Chevrolet Traverse.

Here are the Top 20 less-affordable vehicles in 2022 compared to 2019:

Used Cars That Are No Longer Affordable
RankVehicle% Above Affordability$ over Aug 2019 Price3yo Used Car Price Aug 2022
1Toyota Avalon37.6%$13,181$35,137
2Chevrolet Traverse36.1%$12,416$34,751
3Volvo S6035.5%$14,708$34,615
4Ford Mustang31.2%$11.984$33,500
5Acura TLX26.7%$11,287$32,360
6Toyota Prius25.6%$12,489$32,090
7Toyota RAV425.5%$11,522$32,056
8MINI Convertible24.4%$10,100$31,779
9MINI Countryman22.6%$11,748$31,318
10Volkswagen Golf GTI20.9%$11,041$30,868
11Nissan Maxima19.6%$9,850$30,547
12Ford Edge19.1%$8,051$30,423
13Honda CR-V18.2%$10,594$30,193
14MINI Clubman18.0%$11,596$30,145
15Audi A317.7%$10,980$30,059
16Subaru Outback17.5%$8,366$30,018
17Subaru Forester16.5%$10,016$29,759
18Nissan Frontier13.3%$8,071$28,943
19Honda Accord12.9%$11,386$28,847
20Mazda CX-511.4%$9,141$28,464


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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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