Top 10 Most Expensive & Least Expensive U.S. Cities To Buy A Used Car

Buying a used car in 2023 can really feel like a highly-competitive sport. Potential buyers will comb through hundreds and thousands of listings before they find the right car for the right deal. Then, once they find it, they need to act quickly before someone else beats them to it.

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In many cases, some buyers are willing to cross state lines if it means getting a deal on a used car that they couldn’t get in their own backyard. A study conducted by iSeeCars analyzed over 6.5 million used car sales throughout the U.S. to determine which cities are offering the best deals, and which ones are charging more than the average retail price. Currently, the National average price tag for a used car is $34,227, and some regions in the U.S. like Cleveland-Akron, OH had a tendency to be more generous in their sales figures than places like West Palm Beach, FL.

“Research and flexibility are two powerful assets for used car shoppers,” says iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Buyers in Cleveland and Cincinnati, the top two cities with the least expensive cars, are already living in the lowest-cost cities and can shop locally. But used car buyers in the most expensive cities like West Palm Beach and Denver might want to research bus and plane schedules as part of their shopping process.”

The Top 10 Least Expensive Cities To Buy a Used Car

RankMetro AreaAverage Price of Used Cars% Price Difference from National Average$ Price Difference from National Average
1Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OH$31,458-8.1%-$2,769
2Cincinnati, OH$31,622-7.6%-$2,605
3Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA$31,901-6.8%-$2,326
4Fresno-Visalia, CA$31,912-6.8%-$2,315
5Orlando-Daytona Beach, FL$31,971-6.6%-$2,256
6Detroit, MI$31,990-6.5%-$2,238
7Columbus, OH$32,177-6.0%-$2,050
8Pittsburgh, PA$32,286-5.7%-$1,942
9Indianapolis, IN$32,418-5.3%-$1,809
10Oklahoma City, OK$32,443-5.2%-$1,784
National Average$34,227

As seen in the chart above, the state of Ohio contained three markets with some of the best used car prices below the national average. These days, the ability to save between $1,700 and $2,700 on a used car is definitely a big deal for shoppers.

“While these cities have attractive overall used car pricing, buyers in these markets still need to look at specific models to confirm they can’t find a better deal somewhere else,” says Brauer. “It’s easy to research car pricing, both locally and nationally, so there’s no reason not to look beyond your area to get a sense of how much prices vary for a given model.”

The Top 10 Most Expensive Cities To Buy a Used Car

RankMetro AreaAverage Price of Used Cars% Price Difference from National Average$ Price Difference from National Average
1West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL$37,6329.9%$3,404
2Denver, CO$37,2338.8%$3,005
3Austin, TX$36,8277.6%$2,599
4Seattle-Tacoma, WA$36,5936.9%$2,366
5Salt Lake City, UT$36,3566.2%$2,129
6Charlotte, NC$35,9765.1%$1,748
7Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX$35,7514.5%$1,524
8Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL$35,4793.7%$1,252
9Los Angeles, CA$35,4203.5%$1,193
10Boston, MA-Manchester, NH$35,2683.0%$1,041
National Average$34,227

For cities where a used car is more expensive, there does not appear to be one centralized location. While states like Florida, Texas, California, Colorado, and Massachusetts are expected to be on the list, the price differences compared to the national average have a much greater range when compared to the previous list. Customers in these markets can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,400 above average used car prices, and that is not including the increased interest rates.

“Used car buyers in the most expensive markets should look to nearby cities to save money on their next purchase,” said Brauer. “For instance, while West Palm Beach, Florida, has the highest average used car price, Orlando is one of the cheapest cities and is less than 200 miles away.”

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