colorful used cars in parking lot

Why are used cars less expensive than new cars? 

You may think this question has an obvious answer, but it’s a bit more complicated than you might be assuming. Yes, used cars are older, but even ones that are just a year or two behind the new model are thousands of dollars cheaper. Why is that? Keep reading to learn more.

You might also be interested in: Benefits of buying a used vehicle 

3 reasons why a used car is cheaper than a new car 


We will hit on this a second time here. It’s obvious, but used cars have more wear, tear, and mileage than new ones. It just comes with the territory. This alone causes them to be valued at lower rates. But age isn’t always a bad thing. For starters, most people would prefer to pay less for a car, and just because a vehicle is a few years old it doesn’t mean it’s obsolete by any measure. 

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Depreciation family at desk, looking at ipad with salesman

Depreciation is the secret culprit. Once you drive a new car off the lot, its value falls off a cliff. Over the course of a couple years, a new car’s value can be cut by as much as 50%, depending on the model. And when you buy a used car, the vehicle has experienced almost all of the depreciation it ever will. So, if you were to turn around and sell that car, it will retain much more of its value at the time you purchased it compared to a new car. 


With age comes dated features. Used cars might not always have the most up-to-date gadgets inside and out. Most of those features can be added, however, so drivers can still enjoy today’s amenities in a 2015 model. They just have to do a little more work to get them. 

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