10 Used Car Bargains

Jim Motavalli

Jim Motavalli | Sep 09, 2014

Americans are buying cars like nobody’s business, and many say we’re headed for a 16.5 million year in 2014, which would make for an all-time annual sales record. The average car has been on the road for 11.3 years, also a record, so there’s plenty of pent-up demand in the marketplace.

The rising tide is floating all the boats in this seller’s market, used, too, so everything from that dented Toyota Corolla with 165,000 miles to the vintage Ferrari at Pebble Beach is selling for crazy prices.

First tip: Avoid eye contact with anyone wearing plaid pants. (John Lloyd/Flickr)But iSeeCars.com, used-car specialists, claims there are bargains to be found. In particular, there are 10 used cars with a reputation for longevity, that are now selling for 8.9 to 10.3 percent below market value. On the list, I spotted three Hondas and Acura-- cars that have generally commanded top dollar in the resale market.

I mentioned this to Phong Ly, the CEO, of iSeeCars, and his answer was interesting. “The three Hondas were at or near the top in terms of the total number of cars listed for sale, so it stands to reason that because of the sheer quantity of those vehicles, there would be more sellers anxious to get those cars sold.” Many of those sellers, by the way, are planning to buy a Honda again, “since the brand has such a good record with customer retention.” The latest Accord is, in fact, setting sales records as you read this.

As to the presence of Honda’s Odyssey on the list, Ly points out that it’s a popular choice for people with three or more kids so “the interiors tend to take a real beating.” I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to sell a car carpeted in crushed Cheerios topped off with spilled juice boxes, but it may cause you to lower the price a bit.
 
Anyway, here’s the list of bargains, building to the biggest savings:

Honda Odyssey minivan. Fifteen percent of those listed are at least five percent below market value, with an average price of $21,212. And the bargains are an average of 8.9 percent below-market value.

But Wait There's More! Buy now and we'll throw in Cheerio-encrusted carpets, absolutely free. (Honda photo)Honda Accord and Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Sixteen percent listed are at least five percent below market value, with an average price of $23,307 (Silverado) and $15,231 (Accord). And the bargains are an average of nine percent below market value.
 The Acura TL: Once fashionable, now thrifty. (Acura photo)Acura TL. The Acura brand has been suffering in the consumer appreciation surveys lately, and the TL’s appearance here reflects that. Twenty percent listed are at least five percent below market value, with an average price of $21,532. And the bargains are an average of 9.2 percent below market value.  
 
Honda Civic. Fifteen percent are at least five percent below market, with an average price of $13,075. And the bargains are an average of 9.3 percent below market.
 What do you get when you take 10% off a Ford Escort? The Escape. (Ford photo)Ford Explorer. Twenty percent are at least five percent below market, with an average price of $21,832. And the bargains are an average of 9.4 percent below market.

Ford F-150 and Toyota Camry. With over 34 million F-150 built since the first one hit the roads, it's the most popular vehicle in the country, and the Camry is the bestselling car. As with the Hondas, there are a lot of them available. Seventeen percent of the Camrys and 15 percent of the F-150s are at least five percent below market, with an average resale price of $16,303 (Camry) and $23,397 (F-150). Bargains for both are an average of 9.5 percent below market.

Nissan Maxima. Pricing for the Maxima makes this a really attractive used car, right now. Fully eighteen percent of for-sale Maximas are at least five percent below market, with an average price of $18,292. And the bargains are an average of 10.2 percent below market.
 Saving big on a used Taurus is a great way to impress the ladies (if they're also CPAs). (Ford photo)Ford Taurus. Here’s your biggest chance for a real killing on this list. "As a used-car purchase, we'd probably consider something else," says Edmunds, and that comment alone probably helped depress prices. Some 19 percent of Taurus cars are at least five percent below market, with an average price of $15,114. And the bargains are at least 10.3 percent below market.
 
On any of these cars, remember that used cars don’t have fixed prices. Feel free to offer less. The seller may turn it down, but you can always counter-offer. Want more tips? Check out Tom and Ray's suggestions for selling a used car, or ask a question in the Car Talk Community

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