Drivers have so many options to choose from when they're shopping for cars. Whether they're mulling different automakers, models, colors or engine types, motorists certainly have their work cut out for them. But for some, the search is narrowed simply by sticking with used cars. These budget-friendly options generally offer safe, reliable rides for a wide variety of drivers, all the while providing access to affordable monthly payments and auto loans.
Why buy used cars?
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why used cars are so attractive to drivers. Not only are the sticker prices of these vehicles lower than their brand new counterparts, but there are many opportunities to save on the average depreciation of automobiles. By investing in a lightly used model, drivers can avoid much of the hit to the value of cars that occurs in the first year of ownership without sacrificing quality. To help in this endeavor, iSeeCars.com compiled a list of the best used cars to buy.
"Everybody knows that new cars depreciate the most in the first year and that different cars have different depreciation rates, but we wanted to see which used cars experienced the largest price drops compared to their new models," said Phong Ly, iSeeCars.com CEO.
It's important to note that the ideal investment for drivers will vary. If you're not sure what type of car is the best fit for you, take your search to New Jersey State Auto. There you can browse through a wide selection of Carfax-certified used cars, trucks and vans to find an option you love.
"Auto industry developments can lead to great deals."
How to find the best options
Auto industry developments can lead to great deals. Overhauls and redesigns drive up the cost of new models and decrease that of recent cars, making these lightly used cars a great value. That's not the only cause, however, so drivers should pay attention to what's going on in the industry to try to locate the best value deals.
"There are numerous reasons for the wide range of differences, but the most prominent factors that increase the price difference between a car's new and lightly used models are lower popularity compared to its competitors, a brand with reported dependability issues or expensive repairs, or having just undergone a redesign," Ly explained.
Motorists can also keep an eye on used car websites to monitor the models at a specific lot. At NJ State Auto, for example, you can sift through used cars under $10,000 – or your specific price point – and try to locate the best vehicles on sale. Then you can move quickly to make sure you don't miss out.
Models to watch
"Buying lightly used cars will leave cash in your wallet."
Still, iSeeCars.com identified a few models you may want to pay special attention to, especially if you're concerned about depreciation. At the top of the list is the Hyundai Genesis. These models drop an average of 38.2 percent after the first year of ownership, which equals approximately $16,600 in value. Buying a model that's just 1 year old will present thousands of dollars of savings, and going further back will leave even more cash in your wallet.
Another model that can give way to massive savings is the Cadillac CTS. The study showed a 36.9 percent depreciation after the first year, and with a luxury brand like Cadillac, that translates to a price difference of about $20,000. Other attractive models include the popular Chevrolet Impala, which has a price drop of 33.5 percent after year one, and the GMC Yukon XL.