The gap between new- and used-vehicle pricing in many segments has narrowed significantly, with new vehicles, on average, selling for only 11.5% more than a comparable 1-year-old used car, reports Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights, Kelley Blue Book.
Used subcompact and compact cars only offer consumers an average savings between 5 to 7%, while used hybrid cars and mid-size crossovers are within 3 to 4% of an equivalent new vehicle. After factoring in incentives and lower finance APRs on new cars, purchasing a new vehicle is in many cases only marginally more than purchasing used.
While traditionally shoppers would save thousands of dollars by purchasing a slightly used vehicle rather than new, this is no longer the case. As used-car values remain near their all-time peak, Kelley Blue Book sees new-vehicle sales cannibalizing used vehicle sales.
During the past several months, Kelley Blue Book has observed a shift in shopper activity from used to new vehicles based on the 14 million visitors to KBB.com each month, as well as new- and used-vehicle sales. In terms of Web traffic on the company’s car-shopping website, there has been a 5 percentage point shift in new-car shopper activity since January. Similarly, new-vehicle sales have been increasing consistently year-over-year (increasing 9% in July alone), while used-vehicle registrations declined by 4 to 5% year-over-year from March through May.
The choice to purchase a new or used car can certainly vary depending on the model being considered. For instance, a consumer considering a Ford Focus can save as much as $3,000 by purchasing a used model-year 2011; however, the strength of the 2012 redesign may prompt them to spend a little more on the latest and greatest model. A consumer in the market for a Toyota FJ Cruiser should almost always opt to buy new. A brand new 2012 FJ Cruiser currently has a Fair Purchase Price of $28,500, a mere $300 more than a used 2011 FJ Cruiser with 20,000 miles.
To assist consumers in identifying those vehicles that may make more sense to buy new, Kelley Blue Book has compiled a list of 10 new vehicles that are only marginally more expensive than their 1-year-old counterpart.
|10 New Vehicles to Buy New Rather Than Used
||Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price (NEW)*
||Kelley Blue Book Sugg. Retail Value (USED)
New - Used
||LT Coupe 2D
||SR5 Sport Utility 4D
||Sport Utility 2D
||2.0i Sedan 4D
||Sport SUV 2D
||Sport Hatchback 4D
||TDI Hatchback 4D
||LX Sedan 4D
||SPort Hatchback 4D
||LT Sport Utility 4D
*Fair Purchase Price reflects value of a MY2012 new vehicle while Sugg. Retail Value reflects a MY2011 used vehicle.