Here are the 12 best used car deals for under $20,000

MazdaA 2016 Mazda 6.
  • Some off-lease used cars can be purchased for under $US20,000.
  • iSeeCars.com analysed more than 4.1 million cars to find the 12 cars that had the lowest 3-year-old used price.
  • The average depreciation rate for new cars after three years is 35%.
  • The 12 cheapest used cars on the lowest used price list depreciated at a rate of 46.3%.

There’s nothing better than finding a good deal. And one of the best deals out there is the purchase of an almost-new used car, meaning one that has only seen three years of use on the roads.

The automotive search engine iSeeCars.com recently commissioned a study to look at the used car industry, where they found the best used-car deals out there. But the study also took a more specific measurement of which are the best used cars that can be had for the very lowest cost.

Among the 4.1 million cars surveyed, iSeeCars.com examined which cars under $US20,000 provide the best bargain after three years of ownership. Each 3-year-old model selected has achieved a 5-star NHTSA safety rating, meaning these vehicles are both safe and affordable (making them the perfect college or high school graduation gift).

Digging into the numbers a little bit, we find that the average depreciation for cars over three years is 35%. But these 12 cars selected by iSeeCars.com depreciated at an average rate of 46.3%. In fact, some units like the Volkswagen Passat had a depreciation rate as high as 50.7 per cent after three years. Essentially, if someone paid around $US29,000 for a new Volkswagen Passat three years ago, you can have it today for a little more than $US14,500. Not a bad deal, huh?

This list includes seven domestic models and five imports, with five of the total models on their way to extinction, as they are being or have already been discontinued by their parent companies. These brands include: Ford Taurus, Chrysler 200, Ford Focus, Dodge Dart, and Ford Fusion. Ford, in particular, has made a conscious choice to end its entire sedan production and focus more on its trucks and crossover SUV business.

“These cars are all under $US20,000, and can be purchased for at least 44 per cent less than what they would cost new,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly in a statement. “The affordability of these vehicles coupled with their safety ratings makes them attractive options for drivers on a budget such as new drivers and graduates.”

Let’s take a look at each of them below.


12. Nissan Altima

Depreciation : 44.3%

Average 3-year-old used price : $US14,292


11. Ford Fusion

Depreciation : 44.4%

Average 3-year-old used price : $US14,920


10. Chevrolet Malibu

General Motors

Depreciation : 44.5%

Average 3-year-old used price : $US14,370


9. Dodge Dart

Depreciation : 44.6%

Average 3-year-old used price : $US12,420


8. Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet

Depreciation : 44.9%

Average 3-year-old used price : $US19,280


7. Kia Forte

Depreciation : 45.4%

Average 3-year-old used price : $US11,545


6. Ford Focus

Ford Media

Depreciation : 45.7%

Average 3-year-old used price : $US12,061


5. Mazda 6

Mazda

Depreciation : 45.9%

Average 3-year-old used price : $US15,732


4. Volkswagen Jetta

Depreciation : 48.1%

Average 3-year-old used price : $US13,157


3. Chrysler 200

Chrysler

Depreciation : 48.4%

Average 3-year-old used price : $US14,011


2. Ford Taurus

Ford Media

Depreciation : 49.7%

Average 3-year-old used price : $US18,098


1. Volkswagen Passat

Depreciation : 50.7%

Average 3-year-old used price : $US14,906

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