Which cities and states pay the most and least for cars?

Your Money Matters

How does a state’s preferred vehicle type impact used car prices?

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Used car prices have soared to record highs, with the average used car costing $24,710 according to iSeeCars.com’s recent analysis. This is a result of used car demand outstripping supply and because of stronger consumer preference for more expensive SUVs and trucks over less expensive passenger cars.  

Car buyers in some states pay well above the average used car price, while others pay significantly below. The state with the most expensive used cars (Alaska), pays $7,695 more than the state with the least expensive used cars (Indiana).  

iSeeCars analyzed 8 million car sales to determine where drivers pay the most and least for used cars. The shares of trucks, SUVs, passenger cars (defined as sedans, coupes, convertibles, hatchbacks, and wagons), and minivans within each state were also calculated and used as ranking metrics across states.

“Supply and demand for certain vehicle types varies geographically, which is why used car prices vary across cities and states,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “States with temperate climates tend to have more lower-priced sedans, while mountainous and harsh climate areas prefer trucks and SUVs.”  

Used Car Prices by State

Which states pay the most for their used cars, and which states pay the least? Here are the average used car prices by state in descending order:

Which States Pay the Most for Cars? – iSeeCars
Rank StateAverage Used Car Price% Difference Over Average
1Alaska$29,65620.0%
2Wyoming$29,41919.1%
3Montana$27,30310.5%
4Arkansas$27,1239.8%
5Idaho$26,6627.9%
6Texas$26,6207.7%
7New Mexico$26,2616.3%
8Mississippi$25,7884.4%
9New York$25,6934.0%
10California$25,5553.4%
11Florida$25,4783.1%
12Nevada$25,3172.5%
13Georgia$25,2992.4%
14West Virginia$25,2602.2%
15North Dakota$25,2592.2%
16South Dakota$25,1561.8%
17Oklahoma$25,1281.7%
18Louisiana$24,9791.1%
19North Carolina$24,9761.1%
20Rhode Island$24,9621.0%
21Utah$24,8420.5%
Average Used Car Price$24,710
22Colorado$24,684-0.1%
23Oregon$24,649-0.2%
24Maine$24,576-0.5%
25Alabama$24,534-0.7%
26Arizona$24,520-0.8%
27Massachusetts$24,491-0.9%
28Illinois$24,421-1.2%
29Washington$24,398-1.3%
30South Carolina$24,390-1.3%
31Kansas$24,357-1.4%
32New Jersey$24,329-1.5%
33Wisconsin$24,315-1.6%
34Tennessee$24,273-1.8%
35Missouri$24,142-2.3%
36New Hampshire$24,104-2.5%
37Vermont$24,033-2.7%
38Maryland$23,934-3.1%
39Nebraska$23,725-4.0%
40Pennsylvania$23,488-4.9%
41Delaware$23,469-5.0%
42Michigan$23,348-5.5%
43Hawaii$23,290-5.7%
44Minnesota$23,120-6.4%
45Iowa$23,062-6.7%
46Kentucky$22,995-6.9%
47Virginia$22,618-8.5%
48Connecticut$22,528-8.8%
49Ohio$22,244-10.0%
50Indiana$21,961-11.1%

Alaska is the state with the most expensive used cars with an average price of $29,656, which is 20 percent higher than the national average. Trucks are the most expensive vehicle type among Alaskan drivers, with an average price of $40,133. Of the top 5 states with the highest used car prices, four are Western states.

As for the state where consumers pay the least, Indiana earns the distinction with an average used car price of $21,961. SUVs, the state’s most popular vehicle type, have the lowest average price across all states at $22,640.

Preferred Vehicle Type in Each State

To better understand how much drivers in each state pay for used vehicles, iSeeCars examined each state’s share of the most common vehicle type. Despite the declining popularity of passenger cars (defined as sedans, coupes, convertibles, hatchbacks, and wagons), that vehicle type is the most popular wherever SUVs don’t hold the title.

Most Popular Vehicle Type By State – iSeeCars
StateDominant Vehicle TypeSUVsPassenger Cars TrucksMinivans
AlabamaSUVs39.9%36.6%19.5%2.5%
AlaskaSUVs41.1%25.2%29.5%2.2%
ArizonaCars39.1%42.8%14.0%2.7%
ArkansasSUVs41.1%31.5%23.5%2.3%
CaliforniaCars35.3%49.9%10.3%2.6%
ColoradoSUVs48.6%30.0%17.1%2.2%
ConnecticutSUVs46.7%39.4%9.4%2.3%
DelawareSUVs45.5%38.7%11.3%3.0%
FloridaCars39.1%43.9%12.1%3.0%
GeorgiaCars39.3%40.6%15.6%2.6%
HawaiiCars33.0%45.6%14.2%5.2%
IdahoSUVs38.7%25.7%31.1%2.4%
IllinoisSUVs45.4%37.9%10.8%3.8%
IndianaSUVs42.6%35.3%15.9%4.3%
IowaSUVs43.8%29.3%20.5%4.5%
KansasSUVs42.3%33.9%18.3%3.7%
KentuckySUVs41.1%34.0%19.4%3.5%
LouisianaSUVs38.1%36.6%22.1%2.0%
MaineSUVs47.1%25.9%22.5%2.4%
MarylandCars41.9%43.4%10.0%3.2%
MassachusettsSUVs49.7%35.3%10.8%2.2%
MichiganSUVs48.6%27.4%18.1%3.6%
MinnesotaSUVs48.1%28.0%17.9%3.9%
MississippiSUVs37.4%35.9%23.0%2.1%
MissouriSUVs42.5%34.0%18.0%3.6%
MontanaSUVs41.3%19.1%34.6%2.2%
NebraskaSUVs43.5%28.6%22.2%3.5%
NevadaCars38.0%44.4%13.3%2.4%
New HampshireSUVs47.2%30.4%17.3%2.2%
New JerseySUVs46.8%40.5%7.8%2.6%
New MexicoSUVs37.2%36.2%23.1%2.1%
New YorkSUVs49.1%34.6%11.4%2.9%
North CarolinaSUVs41.2%38.2%15.7%2.9%
North DakotaSUVs46.1%20.6%28.5%3.2%
OhioSUVs42.2%37.1%14.8%3.8%
OklahomaSUVs39.2%31.9%24.2%2.6%
OregonSUVs39.4%36.9%18.3%3.0%
PennsylvaniaSUVs46.9%34.9%13.6%2.8%
Rhode IslandSUVs45.8%35.2%14.2%2.2%
South CarolinaSUVs41.3%36.6%17.6%2.9%
South DakotaSUVs43.9%20.7%30.2%3.4%
TennesseeSUVs41.4%35.8%17.9%3.1%
TexasSUVs39.9%37.5%19.0%2.1%
UtahSUVs40.6%35.2%18.8%3.9%
VermontSUVs44.0%28.3%24.2%2.1%
VirginiaCars40.9%41.5%12.4%3.4%
WashingtonSUVs39.2%39.0%17.1%2.9%
West VirginiaSUVs45.4%27.4%23.5%2.4%
WisconsinSUVs46.9%28.2%19.3%4.0%
WyomingSUVs39.5%19.2%37.2%1.8%

SUVs are the most popular vehicle type in 42 of 50 states, while passenger cars account for the remaining eight states. The state with the highest share of SUVs is Massachusetts at 49.7 percent. Moreover, Massachusetts has the sixth-lowest share of pickup trucks, which contributes to the state paying less than the national average for used cars.

Interestingly, despite a pickup truck model being the most popular car in most states, that vehicle type is not the most popular category in any state. Pickup trucks have the highest share in Wyoming at 37.2 percent, which contributes to the state ranking second for having the most expensive used cars in the country.

Passenger cars are the most popular vehicle type in states with temperate climates, with California having the highest share at 49.9 percent. California is also the state where sedans are the most expensive, showing that state residents have a preference for more premium sedans. Florida is the state with the highest share of convertibles, ranks fourth for sedans, and ranks fifth for coupes, while having the country’s fifth-highest used car price for sedans. This suggests the state has a preference for sports and luxury cars.

Hawaii has the lowest share of SUVs, but the vehicle still accounts for one-third of the state’s vehicles. The state also has the second-highest share of passenger cars at 45.6 percent and the highest share of minivans, at 5.3 percent. This vehicle mix gives Hawaii the eighth-lowest used car vehicle cost of all states.

Looking at the states with the highest and lowest used car prices, the mix of SUVs and trucks play a role. Alaska, which has the highest used car prices, has the fifth-highest share of pickup trucks across all states. When combining the two most popular vehicle segments of pickup trucks and SUVs, Alaska also ranks fifth across all states. Indiana, the state with the lowest average used car prices, is in the bottom half of state rankings for both SUVs and pickup trucks.

Indiana has the sixth-lowest average sedan price, and passenger cars are the state’s prevailing vehicle type. The state also has the lowest average SUV cost and the second-lowest average used truck cost, which suggests that drivers in the state prefer lower-cost vehicles.

Average Used Car Prices and Vehicle Share by Segment

iSeeCars also analyzed the average used car prices and vehicle share for each segment.

Average Used Car Price by Vehicle Segment
Vehicle SegmentAverage Used Car PriceVehicle Share
Convertibles$36,2301.3%
Pickup Trucks$34,46715.6%
Coupes$34,2423.5%
SUVs$25,33343.0%
Minivans$19,2792.7%
Sedans$18,46427.8%
Hatchbacks$15,0063.3%
Wagons$14,4611.5%

“SUVs are the prevailing vehicle type, comprising 43 percent of all used car sales,” said Brauer. “Convertibles, which are mainly luxury and sports cars, are the most expensive, but also comprise the lowest vehicle share.”

Average Used Car Price by City

Which cities pay the most for their used cars, and which pay the least? Here are the average used car prices in the 50 most populous metropolitan areas and the average used car price among the three most popular vehicle types.

Which Cities Pay the Most for Cars? – iSeeCars
RankCityAverage Used Car Price% Difference from Average
1West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL$27,73712.2%
2Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL$27,62311.8%
3Houston, TX$26,9649.1%
4Charlotte, NC$26,4487.0%
5Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM$26,4337.0%
6Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX$26,3516.6%
7San Antonio, TX$26,3086.4%
8Austin, TX$26,0105.2%
9San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA$25,8304.5%
10Los Angeles, CA$25,7824.3%
11Atlanta, GA$25,4412.9%
12New York, NY$25,1891.9%
13Oklahoma City, OK$25,0681.4%
14San Diego, CA$25,0251.3%
15Salt Lake City, UT$25,0191.2%
16Tampa-St Petersburg (Sarasota), FL$25,0051.2%
17Nashville, TN$24,9370.9%
18Denver, CO$24,9140.8%
19Boston, MA-Manchester, NH$24,8680.6%
20Phoenix, AZ$24,8000.3%
21Fresno-Visalia, CA$24,7440.1%
Overall Average$24,715
22Chicago, IL$24,657-0.2%
23Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA$24,654-0.2%
24Las Vegas, NV$24,559-0.6%
25Portland, OR$24,527-0.8%
26Seattle-Tacoma, WA$24,523-0.8%
27Memphis, TN$24,395-1.3%
28Birmingham, AL$24,394-1.3%
29Greensboro-Winston Salem, NC$24,114-2.4%
30Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville), NC$24,102-2.5%
31Pittsburgh, PA$24,074-2.6%
32Jacksonville, FL$23,859-3.5%
33Detroit, MI$23,741-3.9%
34Kansas City, MO$23,689-4.2%
35Philadelphia, PA$23,679-4.2%
36Milwaukee, WI$23,674-4.2%
37St. Louis, MO$23,598-4.5%
38Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN$23,500-4.9%
39Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD)$23,482-5.0%
40Greenville-Spartanburg, SC$23,458-5.1%
41Orlando-Daytona Beach, FL$23,404-5.3%
42Baltimore, MD$23,386-5.4%
43Harrisburg-Lancaster-York, PA$23,235-6.0%
44Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo, MI$22,999-6.9%
45Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OH$22,704-8.1%
46Columbus, OH$22,098-10.6%
47Indianapolis, IN$22,011-10.9%
48Cincinnati, OH$21,597-12.6%
49Hartford & New Haven, CT$21,594-12.6%
50Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News,VA$21,545-12.8%

West Palm Beach, FL is the city with the most expensive used cars with an average price of $27,737. Trucks are the most expensive vehicle type among West Palm Beach drivers, with an average price of $34,008. A second Florida city comes in a close second, Miami, with an average used car price of $27,623. Of all cities, Miami has the most expensive used car price for SUVs, while West Palm Beach ranks fourth. West Palm Beach is the city with the most expensive sedans, while Miami ranks second.

Norfolk, VA is the city where consumers pay the least for used cars with an average used car price of $21,545. Norfolk has the sixth-lowest truck prices, the seventh-lowest SUV prices, and the seventh-lowest sedan prices.

“If you are looking for a used car in today’s market, there might be a better selection of affordable used cars in a neighboring state,” said Brauer. “Although most neighboring states have similar used car pricing, states like Wyoming and Colorado have a $4,735 difference in average used car pricing.”

More from iSeeCars.com:

Methodology:

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 8 million used car sales from February – July 2021. The average price of used cars was aggregated for each state, as was the average cost for each vehicle type. iSeeCars.com also analyzed over 1.5 million used car sales from July 2020 through June 2021. The shares of trucks, suvs, passenger cars (defined as sedans, coupes, convertibles, hatchbacks, and wagons), and minivans within each US state were calculated and used as ranking metrics across states.

About iSeeCars.com

iSeeCars.com is a car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars free VIN check reports and Best Cars rankings. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $309 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.

This article, Which Cities and States Pay the Most and Least for Cars? originally appeared on iSeeCars.com

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Continuing The Conversation
See Full Weather Forecast

Trending Stories

Don't Miss!

More Don't Miss