Used car prices have begun to fall but they’re still higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic. So used car shoppers should consider how many miles they can expect from their purchase.
Fortunately, researchers at iSeeCars.com have done the legwork on this one, analyzing how many more miles a 10-year-old used car has left and using the model’s average sale price to arrive at a cost per 1,000 miles.
The study looked at more than 2 million cars to see which used models are priced the lowest, yet offer the longest remaining lifespan, making them the best used cars for the money. All of the cars in the study were priced at between $9,000 and $19,000 and most had a remaining lifespan of more than 100,000.
Far and away the best value is a 10-year-old Chevrolet Impala. With nearly 112,000 miles left and an average price of $9,706, the Impala costs just $87 per 1,000 miles.
The 2012 Toyota Prius is second on the list of best values. Selling for an average of $13,878, the Prius hybrid has nearly 130,000 miles of life left, delivering a cost per 1,000 miles of $107. Because of its fuel efficiency, owners also save on gasoline.
The Honda Civic is close behind with a cost per $1,000 miles of $108. According to the study, the 10-year-old Civic coupe model selling for an average price of $12,673 and has about 117,819 miles of life remaining.
The 2012 Kia Sedona is the fourth best value. It has nearly 88,000 miles left and sells for an average price of $9,640, giving it a cost per 1,000 miles of $110. Its smaller number of remaining miles is offset by its relatively low sticker price.
More than 80,000 miles of life left
“We now know shoppers can buy a 10-year-old car that costs substantially less than one to 5-year-old used models, yet these vehicles still have 80,000 or more miles of life left in them,” said Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars.com. “Some, like the Toyota Prius, Toyota Avalon, and Honda Ridgeline, have more than 125,000 miles to go. And all of these top 20 cars provide a potential lifespan above 200,000 miles.”
The Toyota Avalon rounds out the top five best values. A 10-year-old model sells for $15,818 and has just over 143,000 miles left. That gives it a cost per 1,000 miles of $111.
Other good values include 10-year-old Honda Fits and Accords, Ford Fusions, Dodge Grand Caravans, and Toyota Camry Hybrids.