As the old adage goes, buying a used car will save you money. Budget-conscious shoppers are traditionally advised to choose a reliable used vehicle to avoid the higher price and initial depreciation on a new car. But over the last year and a half, nothing about the used-car market has been traditional. The inventory shortage, which began in 2021 and has dragged into 2022, initially impacted new vehicles, but skyrocketing demand and pricing soon followed for used cars.
While it’s still possible to save on a used car versus a new one, shoppers should be prepared to pay a relative premium if they intend to buy used in the current landscape. Expert forecasts say used-car prices will parachute down over the next couple of years, and with help from that — plus Cars.com used-vehicle data — we outlined the key insights about the used-car market today, where it’s headed, and how shoppers can plan and finance the purchase accordingly.