If you're already feeling the pinch from inflation, it might not be a great time to buy a used car. Affordability has dropped 26.7% from 2019, according to a study by iSeeCars, and popular models like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are too pricey for a used car buyer making the national median household income.
More than 30 used vehicles that met iSeeCars' affordability threshold in 2019 are now classified as "no longer affordable."
|3-Year-Old Model||2022 Price||Increase From 2019|
|Hyundai Santa Fe||$27,406||$7,000|
|Mini Hardtop 2 Door||$27,708||$10,469|
|Mini Hardtop 4 Door||$27,403||$9,571|
|Volkswagen Golf GTI||$30,868||$11,041|
ISeeCars calculated used car affordability over time with its Car Affordability Index, which compares median household income with an idealized income for financing a car.
"This is yet another indicator of how drastically prices have shifted on used cars in recent years," iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer said in a statement. "When you have a used Toyota RAV4's price going from $20,534 to $32,090 in three years, that's a clear indicator of affordability lost."
For many consumers, buying a used car may mean taking out a loan for a longer term with less money down, or getting a much older car. If you're thinking you may just snap up a used Honda CR-V or Chevy Traverse, make sure you can afford the higher price. "While it may be tempting to take out a longer loan to minimize monthly payments, or to make a smaller down payment, in this high-interest environment, buyers will end up paying even more in the long run," Brauer said.
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