The pandemic has made micro-economies and major booms out of even the most commonplace things. For example, the Peloton bike, rollerblades, bicycles, and yeast were hard to find across the United States at various different points in the pandemic, all due to demand and supply chain issues interacting with each other feverishly. And for the used car business, that tension has never been clearer. While buying a used car is usually a budgetary tip, at least before the pandemic, a new report shows some of the makes and models of used cars that have exploded in price the most amid a broader trend of used cars getting more expensive. Here’s what you need to know.
When we’re buying a new car, we all know the value depreciates the second we drive it off the car lot. Then every year that follows, you would expect to get less money back if you were to sell the car.
That’s just how car-ownership works unless you own a rare, collectible vehicle. But if you want, say, a family car, you’re looking for something safe and dependable that will last you a long time and you’re not necessarily looking to make a big buck if you sell it to someone later. That’s not a safe assumption anymore, though, because some used cars actually appreciated in value last year.
The Wall Street Journal reports used car prices have risen by 40.5 percent over the last year, citing data from the Labor Department. The difference this year from the year previous is that new car production lines have been stalled, due to the pandemic. This has driven the demand for used vehicles up, and has led to values of these used cars surpassing previous years.
Per WSJ, the average price for a three-year-old Dodge Grand Caravan is now 69 percent more expensive than the year before. That’s a whopping cost increase for a car that could already have, say, 50,000 miles on it! That translates to an increase in price from just over $15,000 in January 2021 to close to $26,000 last month.
Coming in second for the highest appreciated vehicle is the Nissan Versa, which surged 66 percent up from the year before. In third, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Toyota Prius, rose 61 percent over last year.
Rounding out the top ten list of used vehicles that have exploded in price are:
- Dodge Caravan, up 69 percent
- Nissan Virsa, up 66 percent
- Toyota Prius, up 61 percent
- Kia Forte, up 58 percent
- Volvo S60, up 56 percent
- Chevrolet Sonic, up 55 percent
- Mazda 3, up 54 percent
- Audi A5, up 54 percent
- BMW i3, up 53 percent
- Kia Rio, up 51 percent
If you’re in the market for a new used car, be sure to shop around for the best deal. And if you’re looking to sell your used car, it probably couldn’t be a better time to let go of your used car… because holy wow, is that an expensive Kia Forte!