10 Gently Used Cars You Can Buy for More Than 50% off

woman in a gently used car
Photo by tommaso79 / Shutterstock.com

Car shoppers looking for a great deal on a used, late-model vehicle will find plenty of choices today as more vehicles have been coming off lease, according to a recent iSeeCars study.

That means that if you shop wisely, you can score a huge bargain — perhaps beating the price of a new car by 50% or more.

The best way to snag a great deal is to shop for cars that might not win any popularity contests, says Phong Ly, CEO of iSeeCars:

“Three years is a popular age for used car buyers because the cars have taken a major depreciation hit, but likely have many of the latest modern safety and technology features. Some of these bargains provide good opportunities for car shoppers as reliable vehicles that are discounted because they simply aren’t as popular in their vehicle segments.”

For the study, iSeeCars.com looked at millions of car sales from recent years and winnowed its list of depreciating models to those that had the greatest loss in value after three years. Typically, that is the age at which leased cars enter the used car market.

All of the top 10 vehicles on the iSeeCars list depreciated more than 1.3 times the 39.1% average three-year depreciation for all vehicles. The cars that made the list are:

  • Audi A6: The value of a 3-year-old model depreciates by 55.8% (to an average price of $27,890)
  • Ford Fusion Hybrid: 54.9% ($13,565)
  • BMW 3 Series: 53.4% ($22,718)
  • Volvo S60: 53.2% ($19,702)
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class: 52.7% ($31,454)
  • Lincoln MKZ: 51.8% ($21,517)
  • Infiniti Q50: 51.8% ($23,140)
  • BMW 4 Series: 51.7% ($26,998)
  • Infiniti QX60: 51.0% ($25,967)
  • Audi A4: 51.0% ($22,413)

How to shop for a great car

First off, let’s start with an iron-clad rule of good money management: You should never buy a new car. We include vehicles in “You Should Never Buy These 12 Things New.”

From the moment you drive a new car off the dealer lot and to your home, its value starts dropping quickly. In fact, a new vehicle’s value typically suffers its biggest decline during the first year of ownership.

So, buying a car that is just a few years old — like an off-lease model — is almost always a better bet. That way, somebody else suffers the car’s biggest period of depreciation.

Then, you can buy that same vehicle, getting a set of wheels that is practically as good as new at a tremendous discount off the original sticker price.

Before you head to the dealer to look for that gently used vehicle, make sure to check out our story “5 Steps You Must Take Before Buying a Used Car.” It will give you some pointers for finding the right car at the best price.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement
8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement

Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for — and adjust to — life in your golden years.

8 Things You Should Never Put in a Microwave
8 Things You Should Never Put in a Microwave

A microwave can be a busy cook’s best friend. But heating certain things in a microwave can cause disaster.

2 Costly Rewards Credit Card Mistakes — and How to Fix Them
2 Costly Rewards Credit Card Mistakes — and How to Fix Them

If you commit either of these credit card sins, you are likely losing money every time you use a card. Here’s how to easily right this wrong.

9 Hidden Ways to Get More Out of Amazon
9 Hidden Ways to Get More Out of Amazon

You don’t have to be a Prime member to take advantage of these little-known perks of shopping on Amazon.

Here’s the Average Retirement Age in Your State
Here’s the Average Retirement Age in Your State

Are you on track to retire at the same age as most residents of your state?

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.