These are not the best of times to go out shopping for a used car. Pre-owned inventories have gotten razor-thin just at the time demand—and transaction prices—are especially high. This has a lot to do with new-vehicle production slowdowns as a result of the ongoing microchip shortages and other factors.
While there are signs that the used-car market is just beginning to stabilize, you’ll still need to be extra diligent to find a used vehicle that meets your needs and remains within your budget. The latter is the more difficult factor these days, as we’ve seen five-year old pre-owned models selling for nearly as much, if not more, now than when they were new. Some recent-vintage rides are even selling for more money than their showroom-fresh counterparts.
Just as you won’t be able to strike much of any kind of deal on a new car, truck, or SUV that’s in especially short supply, the fastest selling used models tend to command higher than average out-the-door prices.
The online marketplace iSeeCars.com just compiled their list of the fastest selling used vehicles in July, based on an analysis of over 1 million transactions conducted last month. The nameplates represented here may surprise you, with three of the five best-sellers being full-electric vehicles, and 10 out of the 20 hottest sellers being electrified to some degree. We’re featuring the full list with the average selling prices and days to sell below.
The quickest seller in the used vehicle market last month was the Tesla Model 3, taking an average 15.7 days to sell on a dealer’s lot, which is less than half of the industry’s average among all models of 35.4 days to find buyers. This marks five consecutive months the Model 3 has been the quickest-selling pre-owned model of any kind.
“The Tesla Model 3 has remained popular since its high-profile debut, thanks to impressive technology and performance, plus a relatively affordable price compared to Tesla’s earlier vehicles,” says iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Used Model 3’s are so popular that consumers are willing to purchase used versions at higher prices than new versions.”
Six of the top 20 are sports coupes, sedans, and convertibles; considering the strain the past year and a half has placed upon U.S. motorists its no surprise that many are indulging themselves with what are rolling personal rewards. “Sports cars were a popular vehicle segment throughout the pandemic, and their popularity has continued as consumers have a heightened desire to make purchases that bring them joy,” Brauer explains.
Six gas/electric-powered hybrids made the list in addition to four electric cars, which should again not come as a shock as gas prices remain more than $1.00 per gallon higher, on average, than they were a year ago.
The bottom line is that, if you can, ride the market out and hold off until supply and demand issues in both the new- and used-vehicle segments have stabilized, otherwise proceed with caution. “As demand continues to outpace supply for new cars, consumers should act quickly if they see their desired vehicle for sale,” Brauer advises. “Consumers who have the option to wait may be able to find better new car incentives and lower used car prices once the market stabilizes, which likely won’t happen until the beginning of next year.”
The Fastest-Selling Used Cars
These are the pre-owned models spending the least amount of time unsold on a dealer’s lot. Included are the typical number of days to sell and the average selling price for each model.
- Tesla Model 3: 15.7 days; $46,982
- Chevrolet Bolt EV: 20.8 days; $22,005
- Tesla Model S: 21.3 days; $64,205
- BMW 4 Series: 22.9 days; $40,602
- Toyota Highlander Hybrid: 22.9 days; $40,404
- Mazda MX-5 Miata: 23.6 days; $26,176
- Tesla Model X: 24.7 days; $76,268
- Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid: 24.7 days; $23,519
- Volkswagen GTI: 24.8 days: $24,280
- MINI Convertible: 25.0 days; $27,982
- Toyota Prius: 25.6 days; $21,361
- Kia Sedona: 25.7 days; $23,297
- Mazda MX-5 Miata RF: 26.7 days; $30,496
- Kia Telluride: 26.8 days; $44,913
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: 27.1 days; $30,955
- Hyundai Palisade: 27.3 days $45,700
- BMW i3: 27.3 days; $24,872
- Mitsubishi Outlander: 27.3 days; $20,156
- Honda Insight: 27.4 days; $23,953
- Chevrolet Camaro: 27.6 days: $36,597
Industry Average: 35.4 days; $31,036