The global microchip shortage has restricted new car supply, which has led to a record surge in used car prices. According to iSeeCars.com’s latest analysis of over 470,000 new and lightly used cars from the 2019 and 2020 model years listed for sale in June 2021, the price gap between new and slightly used cars has drastically narrowed, and some used cars have even become more expensive than their new versions. 

In the first half of June, the average lightly used car cost 3.1 percent less than its new version, compared to the first half of November 2020, when they cost 10.8 percent less. “Used car prices have risen overall, and prices have dramatically increased for certain in-demand models that may be harder to find on new car lots,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Dealers may think used car buyers are willing to pay more for the instant gratification of a lightly-used vehicle they can drive right off the lot rather than waiting for a new one.”

iSeeCars has identified 16 cars with used car prices that are more expensive than their new car prices:

16 Cars That Cost More Used Than New
Rank Vehicle New Car Price Used Car Price % Used More than New $ Used More than New
1 Kia Telluride $44,166 $47,730 8.1% $3,564
2 GMC Sierra 1500 $54,205 $57,671 6.4% $3,466
3 Toyota Tacoma $37,902 $39,857 5.2% $1,955
4 Mercedes-Benz G-Class $182,631 $190,078 4.1% $7,447
5 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid $34,995 $36,352 3.9% $1,357
6 Toyota Tundra $49,643 $51,474 3.7% $1,831
7 Dodge Challenger $39,375 $40,764 3.5% $1,388
8 Toyota 4Runner $45,382 $46,867 3.3% $1,485
9 Hyundai Palisade $44,063 $45,356 2.9% $1,293
10 Tesla Model 3 $44,409 $45,677 2.9% $1,268
11 Honda Civic $26,331 $27,058 2.8% $727
12 Dodge Charger $38,977 $39,874 2.3% $897
13 Honda Odyssey $37,612 $38,048 1.2% $435
14 Kia Rio $17,346 $17,472 0.7% $127
15 Subaru Crosstrek $29,474 $29,642 0.6% $168
16 Subaru WRX $34,487 $34,568 0.2% $81
Overall Average $37,831 $36,676 -3.1% -$1,155
Ranked first is the Kia Telluride, which is 8.1 percent more for a lightly-used version compared to its new version. “The Kia Telluride has been a red-hot seller since its debut in the spring of 2019, and dealers have been charging over MSRP because it’s in such high demand,” said Brauer. “The price hikes have trickled down to the used car market, where used Tellurides aren’t yet abundant and buyers may be willing to overpay for a used version that is likely the only one available.”

The Hyundai Palisade, which is a similar vehicle that shares the same manufacturer as the Kia Telluride, ranks ninth. ”Similar to the Telluride, the new-for-2020 Palisade is relatively scarce in the used car marketplace and has sustained its popularity since its debut,” said Brauer. An additional Kia, the Kia Rio subcompact car, ranks fourteenth. “The Kia Rio subcompact car is one of the best cars available in the shrinking subcompact car class that is praised for its quality and affordability, and shoppers who want an affordable used car may be purchasing it without comparing the price of new versions.” 

Ranked second is the GMC Sierra 1500 full-size pickup truck. “High demand for the GMC Sierra 1500 coupled with lower production numbers has led to a scarcity of new models,” said Brauer. “The GMC Sierra 1500 is the most expensive pickup for both new and used cars, so buyers who want this luxury truck may be purchasing a used version because it’s available, and dealers are likely adding a premium on the price as a result.”

Two additional pickup trucks from Toyota make the list: the third-ranked midsize Tacoma and the sixth-ranked full-size Toyota Tundra. “Toyota has halted incentives on its new trucks due to lowered supply, and buyers who want these highly sought-after trucks can likely only find used versions,” said Brauer.  The trucks are joined by two Toyota SUVs: the fifth-ranked RAV4 Hybrid and the eighth-ranked 4Runner. “Toyota has the leanest inventory among all automakers, and demand for the popular 4Runner off-road SUV has outpaced supply on the new car lot, sending prospective new car buyers to used models,” said Brauer. “The RAV4 Hybrid was notoriously scarce as both a new and used car even before the microchip shortage, and used car shoppers may be willing to pay more for this vehicle as gas prices soar.”

Ranked fourth is the Mercedes-Benz G-Series, commanding $190,078 as a lightly-used vehicle, which is 4.1 percent higher than its new car price. “The Mercedes-Benz G-Class was the fastest-selling new car in May, so buyers who want this extravagant off-roader likely have better luck finding the vehicle used,” said Brauer. “Additionally, most buyers who can afford this vehicle aren’t concerned with the high price tag.”

Two Dodge sports cars make the list including the seventh-ranked Dodge Challenger sports car and the twelfth-ranked Dodge Charger muscle car. “Trade-in values for popular sports cars have soared due to the shortage of new inventory and the popularity of the segment amid the pandemic,” said Brauer.

The Tesla Model 3 makes the list in tenth. “The Tesla Model 3 debuted in 2018 and resale value has remained strong thanks to its impressive technology and performance as well as its relative affordability compared to Tesla’s earlier vehicles,” said Brauer. “Buyers are also likely drawn to buying a lightly used Tesla Model 3 on a lot rather than waiting weeks for the delivery of a new vehicle.”

Two Subaru vehicles round out the list including the Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV and the Subaru WRX sports car. “Subaru was one of the automakers most impacted by the microchip shortage, leading to a dearth of new vehicles,” said Brauer.

Used Cars With the Highest Price Increases Over Their New Versions By City

iSeeCars identified the used cars that have the greatest price increases over their new versions in the top 20 most populous cities.
Used Cars With the Highest Price Increases Over New By City
City Vehicle % Used More than New $ Used More than New
Atlanta, GA GMC Sierra1500 9.0% $4,937
Boston, MA-Manchester, NH Toyota Tacoma 6.0% $2,266
Chicago, IL Dodge Challenger 10.6% $5,286
Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OH Honda Accord 4.1% $1,119
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX Honda Civic 24.1% $6,464
Denver, CO Toyota 4Runner 19.6% $8,643
Detroit, MI GMC Sierra1500 14.0% $7,063
Houston, TX Dodge Challenger 23.0% $7,894
Los Angeles, CA Chevrolet Blazer 12.0% $4,382
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL Ford Explorer 11.9% $4,756
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN GMC Sierra1500 6.2% $3,470
New York, NY Toyota Tacoma 5.0% $1,991
Orlando-Daytona Beach, FL Chevrolet Silverado 1500 10.8% $4,769
Philadelphia, PA GMC Sierra1500 9.2% $5,054
Phoenix, AZ Honda Odyssey 17.2% $6,153
Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA Toyota Tacoma 10.0% $3,995
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA Toyota RAV4 2.5% $811
Seattle-Tacoma, WA Subaru WRX 11.3% $3,972
Tampa-St Petersburg (Sarasota), FL Jeep Grand Cherokee 10.7% $3,939
Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD) Dodge Challenger 20.1% $7,507
The used vehicle that costs the most over its new version in the most cities is the GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck in four cities. The Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and the Dodge Challenger sports car tie for second place as having the greatest price increase for its used versions in three cities.

“Car shoppers who are in the market for a vehicle may have a hard time finding the most in-demand models, and while used models may be available now, they might cost even more than new versions of the same vehicle,” said Brauer. “Those looking to save money on a used car in today’s market should consider less popular models that likely won’t carry the same price hikes as the hottest-sellers."

Methodology

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 470,000 new cars and used cars listed for sale between June 1st and 14th, 2021. New cars were from model years 2020-2021, while lightly-used cars were defined as used vehicles from model years 2019-2020 with mileage within 20 percent of 13,476, the average annual miles traveled in the US, according to the Department of Transportation. Low-volume models were excluded from the analysis, as were models discontinued prior to the 2021 model year. The average asking prices of the lightly-used cars were compared to those of new cars from the same model.

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. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $294 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.