15 Best States To Buy a Used Car

Drivers in these states get the best deals when shopping for a vehicle.
Updated May 8, 2024
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If you're ready to buy a used car, prepare for some sticker shock: According to the Private Enterprise Research Center at Texas A&M University, the price of a used vehicle was 20.1% higher on average in January than it was three years earlier.

However, where you buy matters. According to a recent Consumer Affairs roundup of prices, some states offer better prices, allowing you to keep more money in your wallet.

Here are the best states to buy a used car if you are hoping to find a great price.

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15. Virginia

David Matthew Lyons/Adobe university of virginia at charlottesville

Average cost of a used car: $33,724

Used car prices in Virginia are reasonable compared to what you'll spend in many other states.

And here is more good news: Politicians have discussed eliminating the state’s property tax on cars.

14. Michigan

f11photo/Adobe busy downtown Detroit at twilight

Average cost of a used car: $33,597

Car prices are coming down in Michigan, and the state government is trying to drive costs down even further.

Late last year, Michigan launched a new tax rebate that helps lower the cost of purchasing a car by up to $2,500.

13. Missouri

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe st louis missouri skyline at sunset

Average cost of a used car: $33,596

While the cost of a car in Missouri is lower than in some places, Bankrate reports that the state has relatively high rates of auto theft and uninsured motorists.

That has pushed insurance costs here 9% higher than the average nationwide.

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12. Maryland

Glynnis Jones/Adobe Maryland state flag in front of the capitol state house in Annapolis

Average cost of a used car: $33,377

The recent collapse of the Key Bridge in Baltimore was expected to raise the price of new cars, as many vehicles pass through the port each year. However, used car prices in Maryland remain reasonable.

11. New York

f11photo/Adobe Statue of Liberty and New York city skyline at sunset

Average cost of a used car: $33,246

While it might seem like the cost of living can be high in some parts of New York, used car prices are actually quite affordable here in comparison with the rest of the country.

10. Massachusetts

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe boston massachusetts

Average cost of a used car: $33,232

Not only is the price of used cars reasonable in Massachusetts, but the cost of car insurance is 28% lower than the national average, according to Bankrate.

The low rate of uninsured drivers in the state helps keep costs down.

9. Pennsylvania

andreykr/Adobe philadelphia skyline at night

Average cost of a used car: $33,097

Car prices are reasonable in Pennsylvania, despite the fact that drivers here like big vehicles, such as the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Equinox, and Ram 1500, according to data from iSeeCars.com.

8. Connecticut

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe hartford connecticut usa

Average cost of a used car: $32,991

Car buyers in Connecticut are breathing a sigh of relief: Prices have settled back down to earth after the state recorded the biggest jump in costs across the nation in 2022, according to iSeeCars.com.

7. Indiana

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe streets of indianapolis at sunset

Average cost of a used car: $32,936

Indiana drivers traditionally gravitated toward bigger vehicles. But recently, they have been turning more to compact SUVs and smaller sedans, according to the Indy Auto Man website.

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6. Delaware

Jin/Adobe aerial of wilmington delaware

Average cost of a used car: $32,924

Although the cost of a used car is relatively low in Delaware, car insurance costs are actually 4% higher than the national average, according to Bankrate.

5. Rhode Island

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe providence rhode island

Average cost of a used car: $32,789

Rhode Island may be the nation’s smallest state by land area, but it looms large on the list of the best places to buy an affordable car.

4. Hawaii

Alexander Demyanenko/Adobe Kauai Island

Average cost of a used car: $32,381

Hawaii is notorious for its high cost of living, with everything from groceries to homes selling at sky-high rates. However, the state’s residents catch a break on the price of used vehicles.

3. Ohio

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe columbus ohio usa skyline on river

Average cost of a used car: $32,267

The price of a used car is a relatively good deal in Ohio, but vehicles have still gotten more expensive here, just as they have nationwide.

Last year, the percentage of used vehicles priced under $20,000 dropped from 58% of inventory to just 16%, according to iSeeCars.com.

2. New Hampshire

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe portsmouth new hampshire usa

Average cost of a used car: $31,833

If you want to find a used car in New Hampshire, you should have plenty of options: According to CoPilot, the state ranks second behind Maine for used car dealerships.

1. Vermont

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Montpelier Vermont USA town skyline

Average cost of a used car: $31,445

Like many of the smaller New England states, Vermont has a lot of used cars relative to its population, iSeeCars.com executive analyst Karl Brauer told Consumer Affairs. That helps account for why used car prices are lower here.

One great way to add to your auto-related savings in Vermont or anywhere else is to do some comparison shopping to help you save on car insurance.

Bottom line

Serhii/Adobe couple buying new car

Used cars are getting more expensive, which can put your financial fitness in jeopardy. However, if you are fortunate enough to live in the right state, you might pay a bit less for your new set of wheels.

Wherever you live, make sure to shop around for the best deal. A little research and comparison shopping can go a long way toward reducing the price you pay for your next vehicle.

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Author Details

Sandy Baker Sandy Baker is a has over 17 years of experience in the financial sector. Her experience includes website content, blogs, and social media. She’s worked with companies such as Realtor.com, Bankrate, TransUnion, Equifax, and Consumer Affairs.

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