(iSeeCars) — The surge in used car prices has been obvious over the past few years. iSeeCars.com’s latest study not only demonstrates the practical effects of this dramatic rise in used car costs, but also confirms shoppers must pay these higher prices despite a substantial increase in used car mileage. For some of the best-selling cars, buyers are faced with used models having over twice as many miles compared to the pre-pandemic market, while paying 25 to 50 percent higher prices.


  • The average used car’s price has increased by 47.7 percent since the pandemic
  • Used cars priced under $20,000 made up 49.3 percent of the market in 2019; they now make up just 12.4 percent of the market in 2023
  • More than half of today’s used cars (1- to 5-years old) also have 20 percent or more miles than they did 3 years ago, meaning buyers have to pay more money for cars that have been driven substantially farther
  • In 2019, about 50 percent of used Honda CR-Vs and Toyota RAV4s cost less than $20,000, but in 2023 only 2 percent of them are priced under $20,000, and these same used models also have twice as much mileage as they did in 2019

iSeeCars analyzed over 10.8 million 1- to 5-year-old used cars and found the average used car cost $22,493 in 2015, with a slight bump to $23,351 in 2019. But over the last four years, used car prices have exploded – ballooning to $34,491 in 2023, which is a 47.7 percent rise, averaging more than 10 percent each year.

“Among the pandemic’s many casualties is the affordable used car, which has nearly vanished from the used car marketplace,” said iSeeCars’ Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “In 2019, used car shoppers with a budget of $15,000 could afford over 20 percent of the late-model used car market. Today that budget only gets them access to 1.6 percent of the market.”

Used Cars by Price Range: 2019 vs. 2023 – iSeeCars Study
Price RangeShare of Used Car Sales 2019Share of Used Car Sales 2023% Change in ShareAvg. Mileage 2019Avg. Mileage 2023% Change in Avg. Mileage
Up to $10K3.0%0.1%-97.9%72,205116,15860.9%
Over $70K0.6%3.2%437.7%12,33416,36832.7%

While they only made up 3 percent of the used car market in 2019, shoppers could still find models with less than 75,000 miles on the odometer for under $10,000 in 2019. Now those cars are gone, with only 1.5 percent costing under $15,000 and around 11 percent priced between $15,001 and $20,000.

Within the sub-$20,000 price range, the average used car’s mileage was 43,541 in 2019. Now it’s 63,457, an increase of 45.7 percent. For added perspective, in 2015 cars costing up to $20,000 made up 52.7 percent of sales, and the average mileage of these cars was 44,777. Across all price points, more than half of cars sold in 2023 have at least 20% more mileage than similarly priced cars in 2019.

“During the pandemic lockdowns one of the few things people could still do was take a drive, and clearly many of them did,” said Brauer. “This drove up the mileage across the used car market, but the supply of new and used cars was so constricted that the additional mileage didn’t hurt used car prices – they still went up.”

Popular Cars That Cost Between 25 Percent and 57 Percent More Today

Below are some of America’s best-selling cars and their change in used-car pricing and mileage from 2019 to 2023. Nine of these cars cost less than $20,000 in 2019, and all but two of them averaged less than $30,000. Today only the Hyundai Elantra still costs less than $20,000, and eight models cost more than $30,000. Examples of mainstream models that no longer cost less than $20,000 in the used car market include the Honda Accord and Civic, the Hyundai Tucson, the Nissan Rogue, and the Toyota Camry and Corolla.

Price Increases for Best-Selling Used Cars: 2019 vs. 2023
RankModelAvg. Price 2019Avg. Price 2023% Change in Avg. Price 2019-2023
1Ram 1500$27,324$42,88156.9%
2Toyota Corolla$14,220$21,30849.8%
3Toyota Camry$17,107$25,53749.3%
4Honda Civic$16,577$24,30146.6%
5GMC Sierra 1500$32,862$47,36444.1%
6Honda Accord$18,627$26,65843.1%
7Hyundai Elantra$13,200$18,74442.0%
8Toyota RAV4$20,640$29,09441.0%
9Jeep Wrangler$25,936$35,95338.6%
10Honda CR-V$20,714$28,40137.1%
11Chevrolet Silverado 1500$29,629$40,35936.2%
12Nissan Rogue$18,015$24,24134.6%
13Ford F-150$31,520$42,10433.6%
14Ford Explorer$26,502$34,90431.7%
15Hyundai Tucson$18,270$23,86930.6%
16Chevrolet Malibu$15,735$20,37229.5%
17Toyota Tacoma$28,443$36,67528.9%
18Subaru Crosstrek$20,763$26,48027.5%
19Mazda CX-5$20,580$26,19127.3%
20Chevrolet Equinox$17,954$22,68526.3%
21Subaru Outback$23,433$29,41325.5%
22Jeep Grand Cherokee$27,454$34,30725.0%
23Toyota Highlander$29,153$36,31124.6%
Average of all 1- to 5-year-old used cars$23,351$34,49147.7%

“Two popular compact SUVs, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, increased in price 37.1 percent and 41 percent, respectively, over the last 4 years,” said Brauer. “These price increases occurred despite a doubling of the average mileage on these same used models, from less than 50,000 miles in 2019 to over 100,000 miles in 2023.” 

Best-Selling Used Cars Under $20,000: 2019 vs. 2023 -– iSeeCars Study
RankModelShare of Used Car Sales < $20K, 2019Share of Used Car Sales < $20K, 2023% Change in ShareAvg. Mileage Used Cars < $20K, 2019Avg Mileage Used Cars < $20K, 2023% Change in Avg. Mileage
1Jeep Wrangler6.5%0.0%-99.6%74,20272,084-2.9%
2Honda CR-V48.4%0.9%-98.1%45,272103,029127.6%
3Toyota RAV446.7%1.7%-96.3%42,529101,880139.6%
4GMC Sierra 15002.8%0.1%-95.7%80,181122,84553.2%
5Toyota Highlander2.2%0.1%-95.2%93,706127,98236.6%
6Honda Accord72.4%3.9%-94.6%41,57993,395124.6%
7Jeep Grand Cherokee10.8%0.6%-94.2%81,078110,34836.1%
8Toyota Tacoma6.2%0.4%-94.0%75,02697,84730.4%
9Mazda CX-545.6%2.9%-93.6%47,83775,86258.6%
10Ram 15008.9%0.7%-92.4%81,322126,27055.3%
11Toyota Camry86.7%7.9%-90.9%41,04389,656118.4%
12Subaru Crosstrek42.3%4.2%-90.1%55,12589,80562.9%
13Ford Explorer14.3%1.5%-89.2%80,994107,93733.3%
14Chevrolet Silverado 15004.4%0.5%-88.0%94,255140,31148.9%
15Subaru Outback24.5%3.0%-87.7%69,355104,27650.4%
16Honda Civic89.6%11.8%-86.8%34,39362,24581.0%
17Ford F-1504.9%0.8%-84.2%96,262143,27148.8%
18Nissan Rogue79.4%19.0%-76.1%37,61872,43092.5%
19Hyundai Tucson78.5%20.5%-73.9%34,94169,40998.6%
20Chevrolet Equinox78.4%23.3%-70.3%41,55171,03571.0%
21Toyota Corolla99.7%37.1%-62.8%37,03462,00567.4%
22Chevrolet Malibu94.5%51.7%-45.2%40,62269,23470.4%
23Hyundai Elantra99.5%73.0%-26.6%37,16255,94250.5%
Average of all 1- to 5-year-old used cars49.3%12.4%-74.8%43,54163,45745.7%

“Used car shoppers have to face the stark reality of paying more for cars with higher mileage compared to the pre-pandemic used market,” said Brauer. “It’s news nobody wants to hear, but the numbers don’t lie. This means due diligence in knowing a used car’s market value and confirming its service history is more important than ever.”

These are iSeeCars’ top picks for the best used cars for shoppers on a budget:

Best Used Cars under $10,000

Best Used Cars under $15,000

Best Used Cars Under $20,000

Changes in Affordable Cars by Metro Area

The table below shows the share of used cars priced under $20,000 in 2019 and 2023 for each of the top 50 metro areas by population. In each metro area, there was a large drop in the share of low-priced used cars. The drop was largest in the Boston-Manchester area and smallest in Oklahoma City.

Loss of Used Car Share Under $20,000 in Top 50 Metro Areas: 2019 vs. 2023 – iSeeCars Study
RankMetro AreaShare of Used Car Sales < $20K, 2019Share of Used Car Sales < $20K, 2023% Change in Share
1Boston, MA-Manchester, NH46.7%8.2%-82.4%
2Austin, TX50.0%10.0%-79.9%
3San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA51.5%10.4%-79.9%
4Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN43.0%9.0%-79.1%
5Greenville-Spartanburg, SC48.9%10.3%-78.9%
6Denver, CO41.6%9.0%-78.5%
7Harrisburg-Lancaster-York, PA47.9%10.3%-78.4%
8Milwaukee, WI49.5%10.7%-78.3%
9Los Angeles, CA53.9%12.0%-77.8%
10Charlotte, NC52.9%11.8%-77.7%
11Philadelphia, PA51.2%11.4%-77.7%
12Hartford & New Haven, CT52.0%11.6%-77.7%
13Seattle-Tacoma, WA44.7%10.0%-77.6%
14Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville), NC51.4%12.1%-76.5%
15Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD)51.4%12.1%-76.4%
16West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL52.7%12.6%-76.1%
17Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo, MI49.0%11.9%-75.8%
18Detroit, MI52.7%12.8%-75.7%
19St. Louis, MO49.5%12.3%-75.2%
20New York, NY47.8%11.8%-75.2%
21Birmingham, AL47.2%11.8%-75.0%
22San Antonio, TX48.9%12.2%-75.0%
23Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM46.7%11.7%-74.9%
24Fresno-Visalia, CA57.5%14.5%-74.9%
25Nashville, TN48.0%12.1%-74.7%
26Pittsburgh, PA47.3%11.9%-74.7%
27Portland, OR45.4%11.6%-74.4%
28Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA51.9%13.3%-74.4%
29Las Vegas, NV54.1%13.9%-74.3%
30Indianapolis, IN51.7%13.6%-73.7%
31Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News,VA56.8%15.0%-73.7%
32Atlanta, GA49.9%13.3%-73.4%
33Phoenix, AZ53.8%14.4%-73.3%
34Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX46.3%12.4%-73.3%
35Baltimore, MD52.0%14.0%-73.2%
36San Diego, CA53.1%14.3%-73.1%
37Louisville, KY51.9%14.1%-72.8%
38Chicago, IL51.6%14.1%-72.7%
39Kansas City, MO51.0%14.2%-72.2%
40Greensboro-Winston Salem, NC52.8%14.8%-72.0%
41Houston, TX46.9%13.2%-71.8%
42Columbus, OH55.2%15.6%-71.8%
43Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OH57.6%16.3%-71.7%
44Cincinnati, OH56.0%16.4%-70.7%
45Salt Lake City, UT48.0%14.8%-69.2%
46Tampa-St Petersburg (Sarasota), FL54.5%16.8%-69.1%
47Jacksonville, FL54.6%17.2%-68.5%
48Orlando-Daytona Beach, FL56.4%17.9%-68.2%
49Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL56.4%18.9%-66.5%
50Oklahoma City, OK48.0%16.4%-65.9%

Related Studies:


iSeeCars analyzed over 10.8 million 1- to 5-year-old used cars sold between January and July of 2019 and 2023. List prices and average odometer readings were tallied and aggregated to compare the share of cars at various price points across the two periods, as well as to compare the average mileage of cars before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. A selection of best-selling vehicles were analyzed and ranked by the change in share of cars priced under $20,000 from 2019 to 2023.

About iSeeCars.com

iSeeCars.com is a data-driven car search and research company that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, including the iSeeCars VIN Check report and Best Cars Rankings. iSeeCars has saved users over $396 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.

This study, Used Cars Priced Under $20k Are Vanishing, originally appeared on iSeeCars.com.