When it comes to buying a car, there’s a lot of factors to keep in mind. Price, of course, but also safety, reliability and whether you should buy a new or used vehicle.
Typically, we’re all told that a brand new car is a crappy investment—it starts losing value as soon as you drive it off the lot. That is true, but some vehicles hold so much of their value that the difference between a new vs. used version is minimal.
For those struggling with the decision of new or used, iSeeCars.com analyzed a variety of vehicles and found that it actually does make sense to purchase a new vehicle, rather than a used one, for some makes and models.
In fact, they found that some can be purchased new for as little as $2,885 more than the price of the previous year’s used version.
To figure out the best cars to buy new instead of used, they compared more than 6 million new and one-year-old cars from from Aug. 1, 2017 to Jan. 24, 2018. They then identified nine new cars that cost only up to 15 percent more than the gently-used vehicles. In this instance, gently-used means vehicles with mileage within 20 percent of 13,476, the average annual miles traveled in the U.S., according to the Department of Transportation.
The overall average price difference for a new and one-year-old car, according to iSeeCars.com, is 26.8 percent, meaning the nine cars they identified are the best ones to buy if you’re debating new or used.
“It’s widely understood that new cars tend to lose a large portion of their value shortly after they’re driven off the lot, but these cars retain more of their value over the first year,” said iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly. “Instead of buying a car that’s been driven for one year, consumers can buy the new version for just a few thousand dollars more and take advantage of the latest and greatest technological and safety features. When spread out over the length of a car loan at an average of 5.5 years, the slightly increased monthly payments can be offset by the added warranty and dealer incentives.”
Here is iSeeCars.com’s list of the nine best cars to buy new instead of used. FYI these are ranked by the percentage difference, not by the dollar amount difference.
9. Subaru WRX
With a difference of $4,115 (14.2 percent), the Subaru WRX is number nine on the list. This vehicle is the only sports car on the list, with Ly saying it is in high-demand. It was also featured in the 2017 film “Baby Driver,” which iSeeCars.com says adds to its appeal. The starting price for a new Subaru WRX is $26,995, so you’d be looking to pay around $22,000 for a used model.
8. Jeep Renegade
At only $2,897 (14.1 percent) less for a used car than a new one, the Jeep Renegade is number eight on the list. Prices for a 2018 model start at $18,445, so you’d be paying about $15,000 for a used version of the same model.
7. Honda HR-V
Buying a used Honda HR-V will only save you about $2,885 (13.8 percent), so if you’re wanting a new one, it might be worth it! Prices for a new Honda HR-V start at $19,670, so you’d be paying around $16,000 for a used version.
6. Chevrolet Colorado
With a price difference of $4,154 (13.7 percent), the Chevrolet Colorado is number six. Starting at $20,200 for a new model, expect to pay around $16,000 for a used truck.
5. Honda Pilot
You’ll only be saving $4,858 (13.7 percent) if you buy a used Honda Pilot. Prices start at $30,900 for a new Honda Pilot, so you might be spending around $26,000 for a used model.
4. Nissan Frontier
With a difference of $3,180 (13.3 percent), you might want to consider getting a brand new Nissan Frontier if you can afford it. Prices for the now model start at $18,990, so you’d likely be spending around $16,000 for a one-year-old truck.
3. Toyota 4Runner
Buying a new Toyota 4Runner will only cost about $4,605 (12.7 percent) more than a used one. Starting price is $34,610, so you’ll be paying around $30,000 if you buy used.
2. Toyota Tacoma
With only a difference of $3,320 (10.4 percent), you won’t save too much if you opt for a used Toyota Tacoma instead of a new one. Prices for a new model start at $25,200, so you’ll be paying around $22,000 for a one-year-old truck.
1. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Coming in at number one is the second Jeep on the list, this time the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. You’ll only be saving yourself $3,199 (8.9 percent) if you bought new instead of used. With prices starting at $23,995, you’ll likely be paying around $21,000 if you buy used.
iSeecars.com also made a list of the best cars to buy used, versus new. Their comparison is below:
|Rank (By Percentage)||Model||% Difference Used Over New||$ Difference Used Over New|
“Whether consumers buy a brand new car or a lightly-used version of the same model depends on how much the new technology, complete lack of wear-and-tear, and the new car smell are worth to them,” Ly said. “For some models, these features cost only a few thousand more, while for others they cost tens of thousands more. Consumers should keep these comparisons in mind as they decide whether to buy new or buy used.”