Report: The Best Places to Buy a Used Car

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If you’re shopping for a used car, where you shop could have a lot to do with what kind of deal you get.

iSeeCars.com recently released a study on the best places to buy used vehicles. The car research site analyzed more than 8.5 million used vehicle sales from 48 metropolitan areas around the United States.

The report focused on three types of auto marketplaces: virtual dealers, traditional car lots and rental car companies.

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • Overall, car rental companies have the best deals on used vehicles compared to online and traditional dealerships.
  • Car rental companies provided $747 more in savings on average compared to online dealerships and $334 vs. traditional dealerships.
  • Traditional car dealerships offered more than $400 in savings compared to online dealerships.

Let’s look at 15 of the best places to buy a used car in America.

Best Places to Buy Used Cars

Metro Area Best Place to BuyAverage Price vs. Market Value
Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NMRental-$528
Atlanta, GARental-$51
Austin, TXRental-$228
Baltimore, MDRental-$763
Birmingham, ALLocal $124
Boston, MA-Manchester, NHLocal $17
Charlotte, NCRental-$516
Chicago, ILRental-$445
Cincinnati, OHRental-$849
Columbus, OHRental+$7
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX Rental-$424
Denver, CO Rental -$311
Detroit, MI Rental -$74
Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo, MI Rental -$221
Greensboro-Winston Salem, NC Local +$210

“As contact-free online dealers have gained popularity as a safe alternative to traditional dealerships, and as struggling car rental companies unload their inventory, consumers might be considering these alternatives to traditional brick and mortar dealerships,” iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer says in a written statement. “It’s important that used car shoppers compare prices across these types of dealers if they want to get the best deal possible on a used car.”

Car rental company Hertz filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and soon started selling off its vehicles. Here’s my story on buying a used car from Hertz.

What to Do Before You Buy a Used Car

After you’ve decided that a used car makes financial sense for your situation, money expert Clark Howard says it’s important that you look to save money on the front end.

“The first step to a good deal on a used car is not shopping for the used vehicle, it’s shopping for the money,” he says. “Get your financing first.”

In the market for a used car? Here are Clark’s other tips on buying a used car.

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More Car Resources From Clark.com:

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