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

Buying a used car in one of these states means you will likely pay more.
Updated May 8, 2024
Fact checked
frustrated woman screaming at car dealer

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

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.

If you’re over 50, take advantage of massive discounts and financial resources

Over 50? Join AARP today — because if you’re not a member you could be missing out on huge perks. When you start your membership today, you can get discounts on things like travel, meal deliveries, eyeglasses, prescriptions that aren’t covered by insurance and more.

How to become a member today:

  • Go here, select your free gift, and click “Join Today”
  • Create your account (important!) by answering a few simple questions
  • Start enjoying your discounts and perks!

Important: Start your membership by creating an account here and filling in all of the information (Do not skip this step!) Doing so will allow you to take up 25% off your AARP membership, making it just $12 per year with auto-renewal.

Become an AARP member now

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.

Resolve $10,000 or more of your debt

Credit card debt is suffocating. It constantly weighs on your mind and controls every choice you make. You can end up emotionally and even physically drained from it. And even though you make regular payments, it feels like you can never make any progress because of the interest.

National Debt Relief could help you resolve your credit card debt with an affordable plan that works for you. Just tell them your situation, then find out your debt relief options.1

How to get National Debt Relief to help you resolve your debt: Sign up for a free debt assessment here. (Do not skip this step!) By signing up for a free assessment, National Debt Relief can assist you in settling your debt, but only if you schedule the assessment.

Try it

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, 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.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!2

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

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.

Choice Home Warranty Benefits

  • First month free
  • Protection for unexpected expense
  • 24/7 claims hotline
  • Network of over 15,000 technicians

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, Bankrate, TransUnion, Equifax, and Consumer Affairs.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt