6 types of used cars you should avoid at all costs if you want a good deal

Carl Court/Getty ImagesBuying a used car instead of a new one is a good way to save money, but you need to be careful.
  • Buying a used car instead of a new car is a good way to save money.
  • But if you don’t know which makes and models to avoid, you could overpay in the long run.
  • Here are six types of cars, from the brand new to the discontinued, that you should avoid at all costs when buying a used vehicle.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Buying a used car isn’t always the good deal most people expect it to be.

For one, interest rates on used cars are exceptionally high these days. According to data from the auto-industry experts at Edmunds, rates today are sitting at 9.5% on average, their highest on record since 2009.

And if you shop for a used car without knowing which makes and models to avoid, you may end up overpaying even beyond the interest.

There’s an adage that the best new cars make the best used cars. While true from a performance standpoint, that’s not always the best advice for shoppers.

A better bit of wisdom is to know that the most popular new cars make the most expensive used cars, experts told Business Insider. As Matt DeLorenzo, a senior managing editor for Kelley Blue Book, put it, “the smart money zags when everyone else zigs.”

With that in mind, here are six types of used cars to avoid at all costs.

Crossover SUVs

Compact crossover SUVs are all the rage right now. The segment represents roughly one out of every five cars sold in the US.

Models such as the Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V are among the best selling vehicles in the US.

However, the used car market is not where you want to look for compact crossovers.

Matt DeLorenzo of Kelley Blue Book said that “everyone seems to want a crossover SUV,” so sellers of a used crossover hold the cards. Better to consider a hatchback or at least a compact SUV which has undergone an extensive redesign.

Instead, look for a new one. With manufacturers eager to hold on to market share in a brutally competitive segment, you are likely to find incentive packages that could knock thousands of dollars off the sale price of a new crossover.

Popular pickup trucks


The Ford F-150 was, far and away, the best selling new vehicle in America in 2018, with sales topping 909,000 units, while the next best seller, the Chevrolet Silverado, sold more than 585,000 trucks.

With new pickups selling in such record numbers, pre-owned pickups are also in high demand and thus are priced higher than ordinary for a used vehicle. Unless your work demands the use of a pickup, consider other types of used vehicle.

Unique and trendy cars

Wikimedia CommonsA Nissan Cube.

DeLorenzo advises against “odd-ball vehicles” like the Nissan Cube or Ford Flex because while “they’re cheap, [they] don’t have much in retained value,” he said.

Buying a used car that you likely can’t sell for any appreciable amount means you are investing in something that’s not much of an investment.

Sports cars


DeLorenzo advises against “high-powered sports coupes,” as insurance will be costly, and repairs and maintenance will start to add up. A Corvette is likely to cost an average of $US2,148 a year in maintenance by the fourth or fifth year, and costs more than $US1,300 annually in average insurance rates.

Discontinued brands


You can often get a great deal on a used car from a brand that’s no longer around in the US, like a Saab or Suzuki. But once that vehicle needs repairs or maintenance, you may well pay dearly for the upkeep. Parts will be harder to find and thus much more expensive, and finding a shop that can service the vehicle properly might prove a challenge.

Recently released models

Carl Court/Getty Images

If a carmaker releases a brand new model – not just a mild refresh, but a brand new generation or an altogether new vehicle – don’t buy one for several years, new or used.

Instead, let the vehicle settle in for a while, as any defects or shortcomings will soon be identified and rectified, or the model will be canceled, leaving its owners with a used car that’s hard to sell.

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