In tough economic times it makes sense to maximize every dollar. In terms of car buying, that suggests buying a clean used car instead of springing for the shiny new one. But is buying a used car always cheaper than buying a new vehicle? In most typical economic climates, the answer is a resounding “yes.” However, the current economic climate is anything but typical. In fact, the deals on some new cars are so generous they actually make a new car less expensive than both a one-year-old used and certified pre-owned version of the same model.
To illustrate this point, Edmunds.com compared the vehicles’ True Market Value® transaction prices and the interest payments typically made for each vehicle. Because used/certified pre-owned cars are generally financed at a higher rate than new cars, a shopper can actually save money by purchasing a new vehicle instead of a used version in some cases.
Since new vehicles have inherent advantages over used vehicles, we also looked at vehicles whose total payment costs for new and used were similar and have included them in our analysis. Below is a list of new vehicles that are either less expensive or nearly the same to buy when compared to their average one-year-old used counterparts:*