2021 Might Not Be the Best Time to Buy a Used Car

The average lifespan of a car is around 11 years, but that doesn’t mean you should buy one in 2021. There are many factors to consider before buying a used car, like the condition of the engine and the overall quality of the vehicle.

The why are used cars so expensive right now 2021 is a question that many people have been asking. There might not be a better time to buy a used car in the future, but there are some things you should know before buying one.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a used vehicle this year, you may want to reconsider. The used vehicle market is booming right now, which is great for used-car dealers but bad news for used-car consumers. Due to recent new-vehicle inventory and chip shortages, used car prices have risen, suggesting that buying a new automobile may be a better option.

The cost of a used vehicle has increased year after year.

Getty Images | A Used Car Lot

When looking through the classified ads on sites like Car Gurus or Autotrader, you may notice that some of the prices are a bit more than they should be. Car Gurus, for example, has its own indicator that tells you if a car’s pricing is “excellent,” “fantastic,” “fair,” or “overpriced.” Don’t be shocked if you see the latter two ratings a lot these days.

Used vehicle costs increased almost 30% year over year from May 2020 to May 2021, according to Consumer Reports. Many consumers are turning to the used vehicle market to locate their next mode of transportation, since many dealers are asking close to MSRP for new automobiles. However, those costs are now higher than normal, making the purchase of a new vehicle more realistic for some.

Purchasing a new vehicle this year may be a better option.


While used vehicle costs are high, the silver lining is that dealers are offering top money for trade-ins, according to Consumer Reports. This may benefit you, particularly if you’re in the market for a new vehicle. When trading in a vehicle for a new one, buyers usually have the greatest negotiating power since dealers want to be able to acquire used automobiles to sell while getting rid of their new car inventory.

“If you intend on financing (a new vehicle), it usually comes with a promotional APR offer as well as some manufacturer to dealer cash,” Boston Automotive Consulting’s Ari Janessian said. “At the absolute least, think about buying new since the depreciation schedule on a new vehicle is now predictable. What you’re paying for secondhand vehicles right now is unprecedented in history. But what you’re paying for new is very much the same as everyone else’s, if not less.”

The market will ultimately level out.

Those extra savings you can usually receive on a new vehicle may make that path a lot more appealing. However, depending on the used vehicle you’re looking at and whether you’re purchasing it from a dealer or a private person, it may be a better option. It all depends on the circumstances.

However, if you can wait until 2021 to purchase a new or used vehicle, that may be the best option. Consumer Reports also said that the market would ultimately settle down, perhaps by the end of 2021. If anything, we recommend putting your money aside until next year. If you can’t wait, you might buy a new vehicle on New Year’s Day.

RELATED: Buying a Car on New Year’s Day Could Help You Get Rid of Your Hangover

The will car prices drop in 2022 is a question that many people are asking. There is no answer to this question, but it is worth considering.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 2021 a good time to buy a used car?

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Will car prices go down in 2021?


Is it a good time to buy a used car right now?

It is a good time to buy a used car right now because the prices are low and inventory is high.

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