New Report: Best Used Cars for the Money

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Looking for a used car? A recent report from vehicle research site iSeeCars shows car shoppers the best used cars for the money.

iSeeCars analyzed more than 2 million models and found 10- and five-year-old cars with the longest lifespan. After that, the website compared those models with their current used car values.

What Are the Best Used Cars for the Money?

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • The 10-year-old vehicles have an average price of $12,814 and an average lifespan of 101,923 miles, or more than 46% left on their total lifespan, it says in the report.
  • The average remaining lifespan on a five-year-old car is 150,526 miles – or 69% of its total lifespan. The average price is $20,428.

Let’s take a look at the best 10-year-old cars for the money, according to iSeeCars. Along with the average prices, the list includes the remaining and potential lifespan of the used cars.

Best 10-Year-Old Used Cars for the Money

ModelAverage PriceRemaining Lifespan (Miles)Remaining Lifespan (%)Potential Lifespan (Miles)
Chevrolet Impala$9,706111,99648.6%230,343
Toyota Prius$13,878129,46651.7%250,601
Honda Civic (Coupe)$12,673117,81952.1%226,120
Kia Sedona$9,64087,74742.1%208,615
Toyota Avalon$15,818143,05658.2%245,710
Honda Fit$12,347110,33353.2%207,231
Honda Accord$13,437113,58450.2%226,168
Ford Fusion$10,07984,59042.1%201,071
Dodge Grand Caravan$10,35486,29241.2%209,350
Toyota Camry (Hybrid)$14,360116,90350.7%230,547
Average for All 10-Year-Old Cars $15,902101,57145.5%223,402

Now let’s take a look at the 5-year-old cars, which cost on average about $20,000, which is more than the 10-year-old models but still a significant saving when you compare them to the new models today.

Best 5-Year-Old Used Cars for the Money

ModelAverage PriceRemaining Lifespan (Miles)Remaining Lifespan (%)Potential Lifespan (Miles)
Honda Fit$18,486154,82674.7%207,231
Honda Civic (coupe)$22,336171,42175.8%226,120
Toyota Prius$24,208185,04973.8%250,601
Toyota Camry$20,482153,51768.8%223,249
Chevrolet Impala$20,318150,80765.5%230,343
Toyota Corolla$18,661136,54366.8%204,266
Toyota Avalon$26,104187,38576.3%245,710
Honda Accord$22,450160,37070.9%226,168
Toyota Camry Hybrid$22,977160,28869.5%230,547
Ford Fusion$18,793130,20964.8%201,071
Average for All 5-Year-Old-Cars$29,566153,09368.5%223,402

See the complete study at

Keep This In Mind When Buying a Used Car

In this overpriced market, money expert Clark Howard has said that if you can delay buying a vehicle right now — perhaps allowing enough time for car prices to drop — and fix the one you have, that’s the best option. But if you really need to buy a used car, there’s some homework he wants you to do first:

  1. Do Your Research
  2. Check the VIN
  3. Get a Mechanic’s Inspection

Do Your Research

First, Clark says you should always check reliability ratings. While the research iSeeCars has done is helpful, you’ll want to go a step further and check the annual Consumer Reports auto reliability survey, which is published annually.

The magazine features detailed reliability ratings for past model years on all the popular car brands. Visit to get digital access to the used car ratings starting at $10 a month. Or check your local library to see if it has a copy available for free.

Check the VIN

Second, you’ll want to check the vehicle’s history to find out if it’s a flood car or has been in a horrible accident. Read about free options to check whether the vehicle has been in a flood.


And don’t pay for a VIN check. Read our guide on how to get a free VIN check.

Get a Mechanic’s Inspection

It may take patience, determination and good fortune to find a trustworthy mechanic, but it’s worth the effort.

Before you hand over any money, have the used vehicle thoroughly inspected by an independent mechanic. Clark wants you to choose a mechanic with an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification, which means they have completed rigorous training and education on the fundamentals of auto repair and maintenance.

Clark’s #1 tip on choosing a mechanic is this:

“I want you to have a relationship with a mechanic for routine maintenance — not when something goes wrong and you’re looking for a shotgun marriage with some shop. I want you to find that shop, that mechanic, you can trust ahead of time.”

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