How Much Is a Good Price for a Used Car?

Buying a car is definitely one of the bigger purchases you can make. That’s why many people nowadays turn to pre-owned vehicles. But how will you decide if the car is worth its price? How much is a good price for a used car? I have all the necessary information in the text below, so keep reading to find out how much you should set aside for a decent used vehicle.

A good average price for a used vehicle is approximately $15,000. The number can significantly depend on the vehicle model, age, mileage, interior and exterior aesthetics, accident and service history, overall condition of the car, and current market demand.

Hand holding 100-dollar bills in front of a white car

Before you choose the perfect vehicle for you and your family, you will have to sit down and do detailed research on how to buy a used car. Getting a great price is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of this purchase, but you will also want to make sure the car you get is in excellent condition and can serve you well in the years to come. My guide on setting the right price for a used car and other aspects of this purchase will help you get the best deal.

How Much Is a Good Price for a Used Car in 2022? Here’s All You Need to Know About Buying Used Vehicles

As you can expect, pre-owned vehicles will cost you less than new ones. If you know how to get a good deal and negotiate the price to lower it even more, you can get an excellent vehicle for a fairly decent amount of money. A good price for a used car is anywhere around $15,000. Naturally, depending on the conditions of the vehicle, you can find deals for a lot less but also a lot more. What you’ll get mainly depends on your budget.

Current Automobile Market Conditions to Keep in Mind

Market conditions drastically affect the costs. A few years ago, the average cost of a used car was between $20,000-$25,000, but the pandemic brought some issues into the automobile industry (just like any other industry).

The worldwide shortage of microchips left manufacturers unable to produce enough vehicles to supply the increasing demand, so people turned to second-hand options. As a result, high demand made prices jump. In 2022, the average cost of a used car is around $28,000. Still, compared to the average costs of new vehicles – $47,000 – this number doesn’t seem so bad.

What Determines the Cost of a Hand-Me-Down Vehicle?

Which factors determine the value of a pre-owned car? Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is the age and mileage of the vehicle, but that’s not all you should pay attention to. Here are other crucial factors that can drive the price up or down:

  • Vehicle model and brand,
  • The interior of the car,
  • Exterior aesthetics,
  • Service history,
  • Accidents the car was involved in.

Check the Kelley Blue Book to See If the Price You Were Offered Reflects the Real Value of the Vehicle

Kelley Blue Book is a California-based company that researches the valuation of vehicles. It’s known as one of the most reputable resources of information on car values, recognized among customers and the auto industry as well. A so-called “Blue Book price” is an accurate appraisal of what the model is worth in the current market. If you set your eyes on a specific model, you can check the Kelley Blue Book website to see what should be a decent price for it.

White Honda SUV  next to a frozen lake, mountains in the distance

Prices for Popular Car Models You Should Consider

The search for your new car can take a while – there’s a lot to consider, but your main issue will be deciding on the body style, make and model. If you choose to go for a sedan, expect the average price to be around $21,000. For an SUV, it will be around $37,000, and for a hatchback, it’s $15,000. So, you must be wondering what vehicle models are currently among the most popular used cars out there. I’ve gathered a few of the best options and added their share in total used car sales in the US in the table below.

Car modelShare of total used car sales
Ford F-1503.6%
Chevrolet Silverado 15002.6%
Ram Pickup 15002.4%
Honda Civic2.0%
Nissan Rogue1.9%
Toyota Camry1.9%
Chevrolet Equinox1.9%

How to Plan a Purchase, Find the Best Model for Yourself, and Negotiate the Price

When you begin the adventure of finding a car you want and can afford, the first thing you should do is set the budget. If you plan to get a loan for this purchase, make sure that your monthly payments don’t go over 10% of your pay. The next thing to do is find the model that suits your requirements and fits into this budget.

My advice is to consider multiple brands, so your options will be wider. Of course, you will begin the research online, and when you find a few good candidates, you will proceed with the in-person research. Whether you’ll buy from a dealership or a private seller depends on your ability to pay in cash – private sellers can be an option if you can pay cash for the vehicle. So, what’s next? Don’t rush, you have a few steps before you can be sure the vehicle in question is a good investment.

  • Check the vehicle history report using VIN (vehicle identification number),
  • Talk to the seller to get additional information on the car,
  • Have a mechanic inspect the vehicle,
  • Go for a test drive,
  • Try to negotiate a better price.

Purchasing a Pre-Owned Vehicle Is a Smart Move, But It Takes a Lot of Careful Consideration

As you can see, buying a brand-new car doesn’t have to be the best option – the used car market is thriving right now. You can definitely find some amazing vehicles if you know how to dig deep. The prices might not be so great as they were pre-Covid, but they are still better than what you would have to pay for a vehicle that just got out of the factory. Finding the perfect car can take time, but don’t give up – there’s something for everybody. But remember – when you find the right fit, don’t rush to close the deal. Do a thorough check before you sign any paperwork!