The Best Used Car Bargains

One of the biggest expenses of owning a new car is actually one of the easiest to eliminate. It's not insurance or gas -- it's depreciation. According to AAA, depreciation accounts for almost 40% of of the cost of a new car, roughly $3,000 a year. So if you'd like to add another $3,000 to your savings account every year, buying a gently used car is one of the smartest moves you can make.

In recent years, an influx of cars coming off lease are deeply discounted and provide bargains for used car shoppers, according to auto search engine iSeeCars.com, which analyzed more than 4.8 million car sales to identify models with the greatest loss in value after three years, when most leased cars enter the used car market.

The average vehicle depreciates 38.2% in that time, according to iSeeCars, while these highest-depreciating vehicles lose more than half of their value, resulting in significant savings for savvy shoppers opting to buy a used car in favor of a new one.

These are the best bargains on lightly-used cars under $20,000, followed by the best 3-year-old SUVs, electric cars, and luxury cars to look for.

Best Bargains Under $20,000: Lincoln MKZ
Best Bargains Under $20,000: Lincoln MKZ

Best Bargains Under $20,000

1. Lincoln MKZ

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $19,855
  • 3-year depreciation: 55.6%
  • Depreciation compared to average: 1.4x

The starting price for a new, 2019 Lincoln MKZ is $36,750, and with a 3-year depreciation of 55.6% (the average is 38.2%) it depreciates at a rate of 1.4 times the average vehicle. Want to save almost $17,000? Consider buying a used one.

Photo: Lincoln

2. Kia Cadenza
2. Kia Cadenza

2. Kia Cadenza

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $19,508
  • 3-year depreciation: 50.2%
  • Depreciation compared to average: 1.3x

Photo: Ed Aldridge / Shutterstock

3. Ford Fusion Hybrid
3. Ford Fusion Hybrid

3. Ford Fusion Hybrid

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $14,844
  • 3-year depreciation: 49.7%
  • Depreciation compared to average: 1.3x

Photo: photo-denver / Shutterstock

4. Chevrolet Impala
4. Chevrolet Impala

4. Chevrolet Impala

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $17,745
  • 3-year depreciation: 49.4%
  • Depreciation compared to average: 1.3x

Photo: Chevrolet

5. Kia Optima Hybrid
5. Kia Optima Hybrid

5. Kia Optima Hybrid

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $16,381
  • 3-year depreciation: 49.2%
  • Depreciation compared to average: 1.3x

Photo: Kia

6. Fiat 500L
6. Fiat 500L

6. Fiat 500L

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $13,403
  • 3-year depreciation: 49.1%
  • Depreciation compared to average: 1.2x

Photo: Darren Brode / Shutterstock

7. Ford Taurus
7. Ford Taurus

7. Ford Taurus

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $17,587
  • 3-year depreciation: 48.7%
  • Depreciation compared to average: 1.2x

Photo: Ed Aldridge / Shutterstock

8. Volkswagen Tiguan
8. Volkswagen Tiguan

8. Volkswagen Tiguan

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $16,235
  • 3-year depreciation: 47.7%
  • Depreciation compared to average: 1.2x

Photo: Darren Brode / Shutterstock

9. Fiat 500
9. Fiat 500

9. Fiat 500

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $11,469
  • 3-year depreciation: 47.2%
  • Depreciation compared to average: 1.2x

Photo: Arsenie Krasnevsky / Shutterstock

10. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
10. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

10. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $16,303
  • 3-year depreciation: 47.0%
  • Depreciation compared to average: 1.2x

Photo: Ed Aldridge / Shutterstock

Best Bargains on Used SUVs
Best Bargains on Used SUVs

Best Bargains on Used SUVs:

These are the top 10 SUVs which had at least 1.2 times greater depreciation than the average SUV depreciation of 37.9%.

1. Lincoln Navigator L

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $37,905
  • 3-year depreciation: 51.6%
  • Depreciation compared to SUV average: 1.4x

Photo: Ed Aldridge / Shutterstock

2. Infiniti QX80
2. Infiniti QX80

2. Infiniti QX80

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $38,869
  • 3-year depreciation: 49.1%
  • Depreciation compared to SUV average: 1.3x

Photo: Andrei Kholmov / Shutterstock

3. Lincoln MKT
3. Lincoln MKT

3. Lincoln MKT

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $28,441
  • 3-year depreciation: 49.0%
  • Depreciation compared to SUV average: 1.3x

Photo: Lincoln

4. Ford Expedition
4. Ford Expedition

4. Ford Expedition

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $30,874
  • 3-year depreciation: 48.7%
  • Depreciation compared to SUV average: 1.3x

Photo: Ford

5. Lincoln Navigator
5. Lincoln Navigator

5. Lincoln Navigator

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $38,426
  • 3-year depreciation: 48.1%
  • Depreciation compared to SUV average: 1.3x

Photo: Lincoln

6. Lincoln MKC
6. Lincoln MKC

6. Lincoln MKC

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $23,006
  • 3-year depreciation: 48.0%
  • Depreciation compared to SUV average: 1.3x

Photo: betto rodrigues / Shutterstock

7. Buick Enclave
7. Buick Enclave

7. Buick Enclave

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $26,021
  • 3-year depreciation: 47.8%
  • Depreciation compared to SUV average: 1.3x

Photo: Buick

8. Volkswagen Tiguan
8. Volkswagen Tiguan

8. Volkswagen Tiguan

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $16,235
  • 3-year depreciation: 47.7%
  • Depreciation compared to SUV average: 1.3x

Photo: Volkswagen

9. BMW X5
9. BMW X5

9. BMW X5

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $37,196
  • 3-year depreciation: 47.7%
  • Depreciation compared to SUV average: 1.3x

Photo: BMW

10. Infiniti QX60
10. Infiniti QX60

10. Infiniti QX60

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $28,993
  • 3-year depreciation: 46.9%
  • Depreciation compared to SUV average: 1.2x

Photo: Infiniti

Best Bargains on Used Electric Vehicles
Best Bargains on Used Electric Vehicles

Best Bargains on Used Electric Vehicles

The average depreciation for electric vehicles is 56.6%, nearly 1.5 times greater than the average for all vehicles, according to iSeeCars. The rapidly-changing technology, as well as the federal tax credit of $7,500, are factors in their dramatic drop in resale value.

1. Fiat 500e

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $10,358
  • 3-year depreciation: 69.7%
  • Depreciation compared to EV average: 1.2x

Photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock

2. BMW i3
2. BMW i3

2. BMW i3

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $19,784
  • 3-year depreciation: 63.3%
  • Depreciation compared to EV average: 1.1x

Photo: BMW USA

3. Nissan LEAF
3. Nissan LEAF

3. Nissan LEAF

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $14,070
  • 3-year depreciation: 59.6%
  • Depreciation compared to EV average: 1.1x

Photo: Nissan

4. Volkswagen e-Golf
4. Volkswagen e-Golf

4. Volkswagen e-Golf

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $13,758
  • 3-year depreciation: 58.1%
  • Depreciation compared to EV average: 1x

Photo: Volkswagen

5. Ford Fusion Energi
5. Ford Fusion Energi

5. Ford Fusion Energi

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $15,983
  • 3-year depreciation: 57.7%
  • Depreciation compared to EV average: 1x

Photo: Mariordo/Wikipedia

Best Bargains on Used Luxury Vehicles over $80,000
Best Bargains on Used Luxury Vehicles over $80,000

Best Bargains on Used Luxury Vehicles over $80,000

Luxury vehicles with new prices over $80,000 depreciate at a rate of 41.3%. In the top used bargains in this segment, the average cost savings is over $56,000.

1. BMW 6 Series

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $45,293
  • 3-year depreciation: 56.1%
  • Depreciation compared to segment average: 1.4x

Photo: German premium automobile/Wikipedia

2. Maserati Ghibli
2. Maserati Ghibli

2. Maserati Ghibli

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $37,422
  • 3-year depreciation: 55.8%
  • Depreciation compared to segment average: 1.4x

Photo: Grisha Bruev / Shutterstock

3. Maserati Quattroporte
3. Maserati Quattroporte

3. Maserati Quattroporte

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $54,449
  • 3-year depreciation: 55.5%
  • Depreciation compared to segment average: 1.3x

Photo: Maserati

4. Jaguar XJ
4. Jaguar XJ

4. Jaguar XJ

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $40,355
  • 3-year depreciation: 54.4%
  • Depreciation compared to segment average: 1.3x

Photo: Yauhen_D / Shutterstock

5. BMW 7 Series
5. BMW 7 Series

5. BMW 7 Series

  • Avg. 3-year-old used price: $50,082
  • 3-year depreciation: 54.2%
  • Depreciation compared to segment average: 1.3x

Photo: EvrenKalinbacak / Shutterstock

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