Summary:

  • Used car prices fell 2 percent in November, followed by a 3 percent drop in December
  • The average used car price was down over $1,000 in December, the first substantial drop in more than 2 years
  • Tesla Model 3 was the biggest loser in recent months, sliding nearly 17% since September
  • Most electric and hybrid vehicles remain hot, with the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and Prius Prime prices still up over 20% year-over-year

Everything comes in cycles, and what could justifiably be dubbed “the crazy car price” cycle of the past 2-plus years looks to finally be coming to an end. Used car prices have dropped compared to a year ago for 2 months in a row, marking the first time values have actually decreased year-over-year since June of 2020, over two and a half years ago. 

“We’re still a long way from ‘normal’ but there are clear signs the elevated prices of the past 2-plus years are coming to an end,” said Karl Brauer, Executive Analyst at iSeeCars.com. “It was easy to predict, given the macroeconomic factors we’ve seen over the past 6 months. With everything from inflation to interest rates hitting peak numbers there was no way the upward pressure on car values could continue. The next big question is: how far and how fast will car prices fall?”

Big Changes in Recent Months

Year-over-year Used Car Prices by Month, September - December 2022

Changes in Used Car Prices, 2022 vs. 2021

September to December - iSeeCars Study

Month Average Used Car Price $ Price Change from 2021 % Price Change from 2021
December $33,582 -$1,043 -3.0%
November $31,823 -$697 -2.1%
October $32,740 $1,133 3.6%
September $33,368 $2,414 7.8%
Changes in year-over-year differences from nearly 8 percent up in September to 3 percent down just 4 months later confirms a major shift in used car price momentum. Prices were falling every month in 2022, but they did not drop below year-over-year 2021 levels until November, and fell further in December. “Over the next 2-3 months we should get a sense of how far and how fast prices will drop, but the trend is undeniable at this point,” said Brauer.

Used Cars with the Biggest Price Drops, December 2022 vs. September 2022

Top 10 Cars with the Greatest Price Decreases 

(December 2022 vs. September 2022) - iSeeCars Study

Rank Used Vehicle Average Used Car Price (Dec 2022) $ Price Change from September % Price Change from September
1 Tesla Model 3 $43,817 -$8,822 -16.8%
2 Nissan Kicks $20,046 -$2,718 -11.9%
3 Ford Mustang $26,852 -$3,495 -11.5%
4 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid $20,542 -$2,527 -11.0%
5 Toyota RAV4 $28,383 -$2,766 -8.9%
6 Jaguar E-PACE $35,221 -$3,052 -8.0%
7 GMC Acadia $30,922 -$2,590 -7.7%
8 Ford Ecosport $20,064 -$1,515 -7.0%
9 Toyota Camry $25,521 -$1,912 -7.0%
10 Audi SQ5 $44,447 -$3,228 -6.8%
Average Across All Cars $33,582 $214 0.6%
Looking at prices over the past 4 months offers a more timely view of market activity as used car momentum has shifted. “The pricing shifts since September show which models have taken the biggest hit in recent months, such as the Tesla Model 3 losing nearly 17 percent of its value, and the Nissan Kicks, Ford Mustang, and Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid all down over 10 percent,” said Brauer.

Used Cars with the Biggest Price Increases, December 2022 vs. September 2022

Top 10 Cars with the Greatest Price Increases 

(December 2022 vs. September 2022) - iSeeCars Study

Rank Used Vehicle Average Used Car Price, Dec 2022 $ Price Change from September % Price Change from September
1 Cadillac Escalade $76,040 $9,867 14.9%
2 Porsche 911 $198,076 $25,577 14.8%
3 Mercedes-Benz S-Class $89,403 $10,737 13.6%
4 Maserati Levante $61,240 $7,170 13.3%
5 Mercedes-Benz GLS $68,880 $8,008 13.2%
6 Maserati Ghibli $50,606 $5,879 13.1%
7 Cadillac Escalade ESV $73,093 $8,206 12.6%
8 BMW 7 Series $61,875 $5,638 10.0%
9 Acura MDX $41,120 $3,446 9.1%
10 Chevrolet Corvette $85,834 $7,089 9.0%
Average Across All Cars $33,582 $214 0.6%
There’s a clear theme in the cars showing recent resistance to the overall market’s price drops. They are all luxury or performance models, suggesting wealthier used car shoppers are still eager and willing to pay for the vehicles they want. 

Prices Have Shifted from Last December

Used Cars with the Biggest Price Drops, December 2022 vs. December 2021

Top 10 Cars with the Greatest Price Drops 

(December 2022 vs. 2021) - iSeeCars Study

Rank Used Vehicle Average Used Car Price (Dec 2022) $ Price Change from 2021 % Price Change from 2021
1 Nissan Armada $33,621 -$6,846 -16.9%
2 Ford Expedition MAX $48,137 -$8,606 -15.2%
3 Jaguar E-PACE $35,221 -$6,039 -14.6%
4 Ford Mustang $26,852 -$4,189 -13.5%
5 Infiniti QX80 $44,104 -$6,686 -13.2%
6 Tesla Model 3 $43,817 -$5,744 -11.6%
7 Land Rover Range Rover Velar $49,700 -$6,370 -11.4%
8 Audi SQ5 $44,447 -$5,527 -11.1%
9 Chevrolet Camaro $31,604 -$3,655 -10.4%
10 Mercedes-Benz G-Class $183,704 -$20,453 -10.0%
Average Across All Cars $33,582 -$1,043 -3.0%
Many of the cars with the biggest drop over the past 12 months were among the hottest models at some point during the pandemic. As noted by Brauer, “Cars like the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and Tesla Model 3 were commonly leading the price hikes at the height of pandemic pricing, with people willing to pay whatever it took to get one.”

Used Cars with the Biggest Price Increases, December 2022 vs. December 2021

Top 10 Cars with the Greatest Price Increases 

(December 2022 vs. 2021) - iSeeCars Study

Rank Used Vehicle Average Used Car Price (Dec 2022) $ Price Change from 2021 % Price Change from 2021
1 Toyota Prius Prime $32,131 $5,891 22.5%
2 Nissan LEAF $28,314 $4,898 20.9%
3 Chevrolet Bolt EV $27,339 $4,702 20.8%
4 Porsche 911 $198,076 $28,494 16.8%
5 MINI Clubman $29,409 $3,616 14.0%
6 Toyota Camry Hybrid $31,443 $3,405 12.1%
7 Honda Accord Hybrid $32,811 $3,545 12.1%
8 Toyota Prius $27,397 $2,930 12.0%
9 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid $37,702 $3,904 11.6%
10 Volkswagen Golf GTI $29,761 $3,077 11.5%
Average Across All Cars $33,582 -$1,043 -3.0%
“The overall used car market is down, but hybrids, electrics, and performance cars remain hot, with the imbalance between supply and demand keeping their prices high,” said Brauer. The Toyota Prius Prime, Nissan Leaf, and Chevrolet Bolt are still up more than 20 percent, with the Porsche 911, Mini Clubman and Volkswagen Golf GTI also showing resilience in a falling market.

Used Car Price Changes by Body Type, December 2022 vs. December 2021

Average Price Changes by Body Type 

(December 2022 vs December 2021) - iSeeCars Study

Body Type Average Used Car Price (Dec 2022) $ Price Change from 2021 % Price Change from 2021
Hatchback $26,678 $1,917 7.7%
Coupe $50,466 $2,321 4.8%
Wagon $20,228 $69 0.3%
Sedan $27,936 -$589 -2.1%
Truck $40,594 -$1,060 -2.5%
SUV $33,770 -$1,003 -2.9%
Average Across All Cars $33,582 -$1,043 -3.0%
Convertible $50,304 -$2,154 -4.1%
Minivan $31,875 -$2,017 -6.0%
Hatchbacks, coupes, and wagons make up a small faction of the car market, helping demand stay strong relative to their supply. Mainstream segments like sedans, trucks, and SUVs are all down for the year. Two other niche segments, convertibles and minivans, are down the most. Some of these two segments’ price drop is reflective of seasonal demand, as minivans and convertibles are more popular in the spring and summer months for recreational driving.

Used Car Price Changes by Fuel Type, December 2022 vs. December 2021

Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Pricing 

(December 2022 vs. December 2021) - iSeeCars Study

Fuel Type Average Used Car Price (Dec 2022) $ Price Change from 2021 % Price Change from 2021
Hybrid $36,954.5 $3,197 9.5%
Electric $51,530.3 -$1,569 -3.0%
Average Across All Cars $33,582.2 -$1,043 -3.0%
Non-Hybrid/Electric $33,313.3 -$1,166 -3.4%
Hybrid vehicles remain quite popular in the used car market, with prices still above last year’s level. As a stepping stone between traditional gasoline-powered vehicles and pure electric vehicles, hybrids offer substantially better fuel efficiency than conventional models without the high purchase price and range anxiety that come with EVs.

Used Car Price Changes by City, December 2022 vs. December 2021

iSeeCars looked at the top 50 most populous metro areas to see which metro areas had the smallest and largest increase in pre-owned car prices in December 2022 compared to December 2021.
Average Used Car Price Increases by City (December 2022 vs. December 2021)  - iSeeCars Study
Rank DMA % Price Change from December 2021 $ Price Change from December 2021
1 San Antonio, TX 7.6% $2,354
2 Hartford & New Haven, CT 1.8% $583
3 Boston, MA-Manchester, NH 1.3% $422
4 Greenville-Spartanburg, SC 0.8% $253
5 Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OH 0.6% $177
6 Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 0.5% $176
7 Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD) 0.2% $68
8 Harrisburg-Lancaster-York, PA 0.2% $62
9 West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL 0.0% -$17
10 New York, NY -0.3% -$85
11 Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo, MI -0.6% -$202
12 Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL -1.0% -$326
13 Charlotte, NC -1.1% -$371
14 Birmingham, AL -1.2% -$389
15 Denver, CO -1.4% -$503
16 Milwaukee, WI -1.7% -$568
17 Cincinnati, OH -2.0% -$642
18 Houston, TX -2.6% -$927
19 Louisville, KY -2.6% -$864
20 Columbus, OH -2.7% -$835
21 Austin, TX -2.7% -$978
22 Baltimore, MD -2.7% -$883
23 Philadelphia, PA -2.8% -$952
24 Salt Lake City, UT -3.0% -$1,032
25 Phoenix, AZ -3.1% -$1,069
26 St. Louis, MO -3.2% -$1,059
27 Chicago, IL -3.4% -$1,215
28 Indianapolis, IN -3.7% -$1,202
29 San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA -3.8% -$1,385
30 Orlando-Daytona Beach, FL -3.8% -$1,261
31 Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville), NC -4.0% -$1,389
32 Los Angeles, CA -4.3% -$1,533
33 Atlanta, GA -4.4% -$1,605
34 Seattle-Tacoma, WA -4.5% -$1,634
35 Kansas City, MO -4.9% -$1,665
36 Nashville, TN -5.0% -$1,724
37 Detroit, MI -5.0% -$1,673
38 Greensboro-Winston Salem, NC -5.0% -$1,646
39 San Diego, CA -5.1% -$1,738
40 Pittsburgh, PA -5.5% -$1,836
41 Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX -5.7% -$1,968
42 Jacksonville, FL -6.0% -$2,059
43 Portland, OR -6.1% -$2,120
44 New Orleans, LA -6.1% -$2,030
45 Tampa-St Petersburg (Sarasota), FL -6.2% -$2,156
46 Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News,VA -7.3% -$2,395
47 Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM -7.7% -$2,698
48 Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA -9.4% -$3,291
49 Las Vegas, NV -10.1% -$3,497
50 Oklahoma City, OK -14.1% -$4,972
San Antonio had the greatest used car price increase at 7.6%, while Oklahoma City had the largest used car price drop at -14.1%.

Bottom Line

Overall, used car prices are dropping, which means consumers waiting for prices to come down won’t have to wait much longer. Prices are still above pre-pandemic levels, but every indication suggests they will continue to fall, presenting a likely buying opportunity in the coming months for shoppers who have been waiting on the sidelines for the past 2 years.

Related Studies:

Methodology

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 1.9 million 1-5-year-old used car sales in December 2021 and 2022. The average listing prices of each car model were compared between the two time periods, and the differences were expressed as a percentage difference from the 2021 price as well as a dollar difference. Heavy-duty vehicles, low-volume vehicles, vehicles discontinued as of the 2022 model year, and vehicles with fewer than 4 of the 5 model years for each period were excluded from further analysis.

About iSeeCars.com

iSeeCars.com is a car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars free VIN check reports and Best Cars rankings. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $360 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.