These 15 States Have the Priciest Used Car Markets (Is Yours on the List?)

SAVING & SPENDING - HOME & AUTO
Buying a used car in one of these states means you will likely pay more.
Updated May 8, 2024
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If you’re in the market to buy a new-to-you, used car, you’ll be happy to know that prices have been on the way down recently.

Where you drive will influence how much you pay, though. A study from the website iSeeCars found that if you live in one of 15 states, you'll pay significantly more than what buyers in other states would pay for the same car.

Check out this list of the worst states to buy a used car, especially if you are trying to get ahead financially.

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15. Kansas

jzehnder/Adobe Kansas State Capitol Building during Day

Average cost of a used car: $34,323

The price of used cars in Kansas is high, and that may be because of more demand than supply, a lingering problem in the area, according to news reports.

14. Oklahoma

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Oklahoma City Oklahoma USA Skyline

Average cost of a used car: $35,509

In Oklahoma, vehicles like the Sonata, Santa Fe, and Tucson are all in demand, often selling in less than 30 days on a dealer lot before they are sold, according to the Journal Record newspaper.

13: Oregon

Zak Zeinert/Adobe Golden hour over Oregon Coastline

Average cost of a used car: $35,556

In Oregon, there’s demand for a wide range of vehicles, especially the Honda Civic, Ford F-150, and Ram 1500, according to Bend, Oregon, television station KTVZ.

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12: Iowa

pabrady63/Adobe Des Moines Iowa City Skyline

Average cost of a used car: $35,750

According to the Des Moines Register, buyers in Iowa prefer vehicles such as the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, and Ram 1500. These trucks often cost more than other vehicles.

11. California

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Downtown Los Angeles with traffic

Average cost of a used car: $35,759

Statistics from the California New Car Dealers Association show that popular vehicles in California include the Tesla Model 3, which is more expensive than many cars. 

However, drivers in the Golden State also like more affordable vehicles, such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Civic.

10. Louisiana

Calee Allen/Adobe french quarter carriage on street

Average cost of a used car: $35,893

The cost of living in Louisiana is lower than in some other states, but you'll pay more for a used car here than in many other places.

9. Georgia

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe busy Atlanta Georgia cityscape at midnight

Average cost of a used car: $36,016

According to the website CheapInsurance.com, Georgia drivers love full-size trucks, including the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado. However, some drivers in the Peach State prefer lower-cost sedans such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

8. Washington

David Gn/Adobe Mount Rainier over Tacoma Waterfront

Average cost of a used car: $36,119

In some parts of Washington — such as Seattle — the cost of living is high. That includes the cost of buying a used car.

Fortunately for residents, Seattle has a public transportation system that is ranked near the top among U.S. cities.

7. Arkansas

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Little Rock Arkansas Skyline with waterfront

Average cost of a used car: $36,343

The cost of used cars is high in Arkansas. However, residents of the Natural State can take solace in the fact that the overall cost of living is low here.

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6. Idaho

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Boise Idaho Downtown streets with traffic

Average cost of a used car: $37,092

Although the cost of used cars can be high in Idaho, drivers combat the problem by holding on to their vehicles. The average age of a car on the road in the Gem State is nearly eight years, the oldest in the U.S., according to ValuePenguin.

5. South Dakota

Susan/Adobe Lovely park Sioux City South Dakota

Average cost of a used car: $37,192

Drivers in South Dakota like large trucks, and that often means paying big prices. Dells Auto in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, says the most popular models in the state include the Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500, Ford F-150, and Ford Explorer.

4. North Dakota

Randy Runtsch/Adobe North Dakota Badlands with meadows

Average cost of a used car: $37,773

It’s not easy to find an affordable used car in North Dakota, where prices are significantly higher than the national average. In fact, from 2021 to 2022, used car prices in the Peace Garden State surged 43.5%.

3. Montana

edb3_16/Adobe Glacier National Park Montana with mountains

Average cost of a used car: $38,943

Drive the highways of Montana, and you will see a lot of large vehicles. Those vehicles tend to be more expensive, which pushes up the overall cost of a used car here.

2. Alaska

Maridav/Adobe Alaska whale watching boat excursion

Average cost of a used car: $40,462

As in so many states, supply chain issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic made used cars more expensive in Alaska. The cost of shipping cars to the Last Frontier State also drives up prices.

1. Wyoming

Jo Ann Snover/Adobe Grand Teton Schwabacher's Landing Snake River

Average cost of a used car: $41,405

As in many states in the Mountain West, drivers in Wyoming prefer bigger vehicles, which means they often have to pay higher transportation costs. 

Wyoming Public Radio also notes that snowfall and wildfires can increase insurance claims in the West, making auto insurance more expensive.

Bottom line

Nebojsa/Adobe man shaking hand with car dealer

Buying a used car is likely less expensive than purchasing a new one. However, used car prices are higher in some states than in other places.

Comparing auto loan quotes from several institutions can help you lower your costs over the life of the loan. You can also save money on car insurance by shopping around for the best rates, lowering your monthly car expenses even more.

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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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