5 Cities Where Used Cars Are Cheapest — and Where They Are Most Expensive

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Smiling man taking car keys from used car seller after purchasing a used vehicle
View Apart / Shutterstock.com

Have you been in the market for a used car in the last few years? Checked out Craigslist or OfferUp and been shocked by the prices?

It wasn’t a figment of your imagination. Used car prices have gone up nearly 48% since the pandemic began. In 2019, nearly half of used cars cost less than $20,000. Now, only 12% are under $20,000.

But it’s not the same everywhere in the U.S. By analyzing more than 6.5 million 1- to 5-year-old used cars sold from January through August 2023, iSeeCars identified the metropolitan areas where used cars cost the most and the least.

iSeeCars compared the average listing prices of cars in the top 50 most populous markets, as well as the prices of top-selling models.

Following is a quick look at used car lots across the U.S. to show where the cheapest, and most expensive, used cars are.

5. Orlando-Daytona Beach, FL

Orlando, Florida
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $31,971

Price difference from the national average: $2,256 (6.6%) less

Being on the cheaper side of the used car market can help offset the high price of ongoing vehicle ownership in the home of Disney World. Orlando is the ninth-most expensive U.S. city in which to own a car, according to one study, owing to the cost of insurance, auto loan debt and high gas prices.

4. Fresno-Visalia, CA

Fresno, California
Tupungato / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $31,912

Price difference from the national average: $2,315 (6.8%) less

Let’s hope that used-car buyers — and new-car buyers — will be as safe as possible behind the wheel in Fresno, a city of more than a half-million people. It’s ranked fifth on a list of U.S. cities with the worst drivers compiled by QuoteWizard, which looked at data for accidents, DUIs, speeding and other traffic citations.

3. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA

Norfolk Virginia
Ramunas Bruzas / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $31,901

Price difference from the national average: $2,326 (6.8%) less

Home to the world’s largest naval station, Naval Station Norfolk, the city of Norfolk was 37th on the list of the best cities to drive in by WalletHub. The city ranked in the bottom half, however, in the categories of traffic and infrastructure, safety, and access to vehicles and maintenance.

2. Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati
Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $31,622

Price difference from the national average: $2,605 (7.6%) less

There are a lot more folks in the Cincy metro area who might jump into the market for used cars. A local Fox affiliate, citing the U.S. Census Bureau, said the region’s population grew by 0.2% from 2021 to 2022, while its fellow Ohio metro Cleveland lost nearly 26,000 people in the same time period.

1. Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OH

Cleveland, Ohio
Pedro Gutierrez / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $31,458

Price difference from the national average: $2,769 (8.1%) less

The cost of living in Cleveland is quite a bit less than the national average, and in the areas of housing, transportation, utilities and groceries. Money Talks News reported that “The Land” is among the cheapest cities in America.

The most expensive cities for used cars

Blue Sky Image / Shutterstock.com

Now we turn our attention to those U.S. locales where used vehicles cost the most.

5. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, Utah
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $36,356

Price difference from the national average: $2,129 (6.2%) more

Utah’s capital city has some improvements to make in driving habits, according to QuoteWizard. Salt Lake City has the ninth-worst drivers in the nation, it found.

4. Seattle-Tacoma, WA

Seattle skyline
Checubus / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $36,593

Price difference from the national average: $2,366 (6.9%) more

It’s not surprising that the Seattle metro area is in fourth place here. The cost of living in this Pacific Northwest metropolis is 36.7% higher than the national average, especially in the areas of housing and energy costs.

3. Austin, TX

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Austin Urton / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $36,827

Price difference from the national average: $2,599 (7.6%) more

Austin, a tech hub in the Lone Star State, was ranked the 11th-best city to drive in, according to a survey by WalletHub.

2. Denver, CO

Denver, Colorado
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $37,233

Price difference from the national average: $3,005 (8.8%) more

There is an increasingly bigger market for used car buyers in the Denver metro, with a 19% increase in housing units from 2020 to 2022, according to “15 Cities Building the Most Homes.”

1. West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL

CrackerClips Stock Media / Shutterstock.com

Average price of used cars in this city: $37,632

Price difference from the national average: $3,404 (9.9%) more

It makes sense that West Palm Beach, a city of 121,000 people, might have the most expensive used cars in the nation. The cost of living here is 15% higher than the national average, according to Salary.com.

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