If you’re interested in buying a vehicle, you know that the prices are sky-high. But location can play a major role in how much you pay, according to money expert Clark Howard.
Clark actually bought a car far away from where he lives so that he could save money! That means you can do it too!
Vehicle research site iSeeCars.com has a list of the most and least expensive cities to buy a used car.
The site analyzed more than 6.5 million used cars in the one-to-five-year-old range from January through August 2023. “The average listing prices of cars in each metro area were compared across the top 50 most populous markets, as well as the prices of top-selling models,” a news release says.
What’s the Average Cost of a Used Car Right Now?
The average price for a used car is $34,227, according to iSeeCars.
Here are some key findings from the report:
- Cleveland-Akron, OH is the cheapest metro area to buy a used car — 8.1% below the industry average.
- Cincinnati, OH is the second cheapest metro to buy a used car — 7.6% below the industry average.
- Between the most and least expensive markets, buyers could save more than $6,100 on a used vehicle.
The Top Least Expensive Cities To Buy a Used Car
|Metro Area||Average Price||% Price Difference from National Average||$ Price Difference from National Average|
|Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OH||$31,458||-8.1%||-$2,769|
|Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA||$31,901||-6.8%||-$2,326|
|Orlando-Daytona Beach, FL||$31,971||-6.6%||-$2,256|
How To Save by Expanding Your Car Search
Clark has been saying that one way to counter high new vehicle prices is to shop in locations where cars are cheaper. You can apply this advice to shopping for a used vehicle as well. Depending on where you live and where your prospective car is located, it may be well worth it to buy a cheap one-way plane ticket to pick up your new-to-you car.
But take note: Be sure to get the used vehicle checked by a mechanic if you’re going out of town to buy a used car.
“It’s more difficult [to travel to buy a used car vs. new] because the vehicle has history,” Clark says. “Maybe good, maybe not. And you need a local diagnostic mechanic.
“Not always is an independent diagnostic mechanic or an independent repair facility going to find an underlying problem that could be serious for your wallet. But many times they will and you would avoid a problem that you would suffer from for a long time after.”
So whether you are buying a used car down the street or across the country to score a better deal, do your due diligence before you commit.