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5 Cities Where Used Cars Are Cheapest — and Where They Are Most Expensive

Smiling man taking car keys from used car seller after purchasing a used vehicle
View Apart / Shutterstock.com

Have you been in the market for a used car in the last few years? Checked out Craigslist or OfferUp and been shocked by the prices?

It wasn’t a figment of your imagination. Used car prices have gone up nearly 48% since the pandemic began. In 2019, nearly half of used cars cost less than $20,000. Now, only 12% are under $20,000.

But it’s not the same everywhere in the U.S. By analyzing more than 6.5 million 1- to 5-year-old used cars sold from January through August 2023, iSeeCars identified the cities where used cars cost the most and the least.

iSeeCars compared the average listing prices of cars in the top 50 most populous markets, as well as the prices of top-selling models.

Following is a quick look at used car lots across the U.S. to show where the cheapest, and most expensive, used cars are.

5. Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $31,971

Price difference from the national average: $2,256 less (-6.6%)

Being on the cheaper side of the used car market can help offset the high price of ongoing vehicle ownership in the home of Disney World. It’s the ninth-most expensive U.S. city in which to own a car, according to one study, owing to the cost of insurance, auto loan debt and high gas prices.

4. Fresno, California

Fresno, California
Tupungato / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $31,912

Price difference from the national average: $2,315 less (-6.8%)

Let’s hope that used-car buyers — and new-car buyers — will be as safe as possible behind the wheel in this city of more than a half-million people. It’s ranked fifth on a list of U.S. cities with the worst drivers compiled by QuoteWizard, which looked at data for accidents, DUIs, speeding and other traffic citations.

3. Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk Virginia
Ramunas Bruzas / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $31,901

Price difference from the national average: $2,326 less (-6.8%)

This home to the world’s largest naval station, Naval Station Norfolk, was 37th on the list of the best cities to drive in by WalletHub. The city ranked in the bottom half, however, in the categories of traffic and infrastructure, safety, and access to vehicles and maintenance.

2. Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati
Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $31,622

Price difference from the national average: $2,605 less (-7.6%)

There are a lot more folks in the Cincy metro area who might jump into the market for used cars. A local Fox affiliate, citing the U.S. Census Bureau, said the region’s population grew by 0.2% from 2021 to 2022, while its fellow Ohio metro Cleveland lost nearly 26,000 people in the same time period.

1. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio
Pedro Gutierrez / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $31,458

Price difference from the national average: $2,769 less (-8.1%)

The cost of living in Forest City is quite a bit less than the national average, and in the areas of housing, transportation, utilities and groceries. Money Talks News reported that “The Land” is among the cheapest cities in America.

The most expensive cities for used cars

Blue Sky Image / Shutterstock.com

Now we turn our attention to those U.S. locales where used vehicles cost the most.

5. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $36,356

Price difference from the national average: $2,129 more (6.2%)

Utah’s capital city has some improvements to make in driving habits, according to QuoteWizard’s list of ‘Best and Worst Drivers by City.’ Salt Lake City has the ninth-worst drivers in the nation, it found.

4. Seattle, Washington

Seattle skyline
Checubus / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $36,593

Price difference from the national average: $2,366 more (6.9%)

It’s not surprising that the Emerald City is in fourth place here. The cost of living in this Pacific Northwest metropolis is 36.7% higher than the national average, especially in the areas of housing and energy costs.

3. Austin, Texas

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Austin Urton / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $36,827

Price difference from the national average: $2,599 more (7.6%)

This tech hub in the Lone Star State was ranked the 11th-best city to drive in, according to a survey by WalletHub. The report utilized data sets for these factors:

  • Cost of Ownership & Maintenance
  • Traffic & Infrastructure
  • Safety
  • Access to Vehicles & Maintenance

2. Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $37,233

Price difference from the national average: $3,005 more (8.8%)

There is an increasingly bigger market for used car buyers in the Denver metro, with a 19% increase in housing units from 2020 to 2022, according to “15 Cities Building the Most Homes.”

1. West Palm Beach, Florida

CrackerClips Stock Media / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $37,632

Price difference from the national average: $3,404 more (9.9%)

It makes sense that this city of 121,000 might have the most expensive used cars in the nation. The cost of living here is 15% higher than the national average, according to Salary.com.

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