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|
|Make||Model||Trim||New MSRP||Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price (NEW)*||Kelley Blue Book Sugg. Retail Value (USED)||
New - Used
|Chevrolet||Camaro||LT Coupe 2D||$26,180||$25,261||$25,135||$126/0.5%|
|Toyota||4Runner||SR5 Sport Utility 4D||$33,640||$32,294||$32,040||$254/0.8%|
|Toyota||FJ Cruiser||Sport Utility 2D||$28,515||$28,444||$28,200||$244/0.9%|
|Subaru||Impreza||2.0i Sedan 4D||$18,245||$17,450||$17,300||$150/0.9%|
|Jeep||Wrangler||Sport SUV 2D||$22,970||$22,281||$22,000||$281/1.3%|
|Honda||Fit||Sport Hatchback 4D||$17,850||$17,234||$17,000||$234/1.4%|
|Volkswagen||Golf||TDI Hatchback 4D||$25,705||$24,168||$23,730||$438/1.8%|
|Kia||Rio||LX Sedan 4D||$14,150||$13,433||$13,150||$283/2.1%|
|Mazda||MAZDA2||SPort Hatchback 4D||$15,325||$14,406||$14,100||$306/2.2%|
|Chevrolet||Equinox||LT Sport Utility 4D||$25,875||$24,845||$24,305||$540/2.2%|
*Fair Purchase Price reflects value of a MY2012 new vehicle while Sugg. Retail Value reflects a MY2011 used vehicle.