- Some off-lease used cars can be purchased for under $20,000.
- iSeeCars.com analyzed more than 4.1 million cars to find the 12 cars that had the lowest 3-year-old used price.
- The average depreciation rate for new cars after three years is 35%.
- The 12 cheapest used cars on the lowest used price list depreciated at a rate of 46.3%.
There’s nothing better than finding a good deal. And one of the best deals out there is the purchase of an almost-new used car, meaning one that has only seen three years of use on the roads.
The automotive search engine iSeeCars.com recently commissioned a study to look at the used car industry, where they found the best used-car deals out there. But the study also took a more specific measurement of which are the best used cars that can be had for the very lowest cost.
Among the 4.1 million cars surveyed, iSeeCars.com examined which cars under $20,000 provide the best bargain after three years of ownership. Each 3-year-old model selected has achieved a 5-star NHTSA safety rating, meaning these vehicles are both safe and affordable (making them the perfect college or high school graduation gift).
Digging into the numbers a little bit, we find that the average depreciation for cars over three years is 35%. But these 12 cars selected by iSeeCars.com depreciated at an average rate of 46.3%. In fact, some units like the Volkswagen Passat had a depreciation rate as high as 50.7 percent after three years. Essentially, if someone paid around $29,000 for a new Volkswagen Passat three years ago, you can have it today for a little more than $14,500. Not a bad deal, huh?
This list includes seven domestic models and five imports, with five of the total models on their way to extinction, as they are being or have already been discontinued by their parent companies. These brands include: Ford Taurus, Chrysler 200, Ford Focus, Dodge Dart, and Ford Fusion. Ford, in particular, has made a conscious choice to end its entire sedan production and focus more on its trucks and crossover SUV business.
“These cars are all under $20,000, and can be purchased for at least 44 percent less than what they would cost new,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly in a statement. “The affordability of these vehicles coupled with their safety ratings makes them attractive options for drivers on a budget such as new drivers and graduates.”
Let’s take a look at each of them below.
12. Nissan Altima
- Nissan News
Depreciation : 44.3%
Average 3-year-old used price : $14,292
11. Ford Fusion
- Ford Media
Depreciation : 44.4%
Average 3-year-old used price : $14,920
10. Chevrolet Malibu
- General Motors
Depreciation : 44.5%
Average 3-year-old used price : $14,370
9. Dodge Dart
- FCA North American Media
Depreciation : 44.6%
Average 3-year-old used price : $12,420
8. Chevrolet Impala
Depreciation : 44.9%
Average 3-year-old used price : $19,280
7. Kia Forte
- Kia Media
Depreciation : 45.4%
Average 3-year-old used price : $11,545
6. Ford Focus
- Ford Media
Depreciation : 45.7%
Average 3-year-old used price : $12,061
5. Mazda 6
Depreciation : 45.9%
Average 3-year-old used price : $15,732
4. Volkswagen Jetta
Depreciation : 48.1%
Average 3-year-old used price : $13,157
3. Chrysler 200
Depreciation : 48.4%
Average 3-year-old used price : $14,011
2. Ford Taurus
- Ford Media
Depreciation : 49.7%
Average 3-year-old used price : $18,098
1. Volkswagen Passat
- Volkswagen Media
Depreciation : 50.7%
Average 3-year-old used price : $14,906