For this study, the automotive research firm analyzed over 470,000 new and lightly used cars listed for sale between June 1st and 14th, 2021. New cars were from model years 2020-2021, while lightly used cars were defined as used vehicles from model years 2019-2020 with mileage within 20 percent of 13,476, the average annual miles travelled in the U.S, based on Department of Transportation data.
The study found the average transaction price for a lightly used 2019 or 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 was $57,671, while the average transaction price for a brand-new model was $3,466 less at $54,205. That means a used GMC Sierra 1500 was on average 6.4 percent more expensive than a new one – the second-highest percentage difference between new and used for any model currently on sale. The GMC Sierra was outpaced only by the hugely popular Kia Telluride crossover, which was 8.1 percent more expensive used than new.
Used vehicle prices have been rising rapidly in the first seven months of 2021 as the semiconductor chip shortage and other production setbacks related to the COVID-19 pandemic hamper production output. With fewer new vehicles on dealership lots, more customers are turning to the used market to find the vehicle they want. iSeeCars chief analyst Karl Brauer believes these customers are willing to pay top dollar for a used vehicle as well, because they want to be able to drive it off the lot that day.
“Used car prices have risen overall, and prices have dramatically increased for certain in-demand models that may be harder to find on new car lots,” Brauer explained. “Dealers may think used-car buyers are willing to pay more for the instant gratification of a lightly used vehicle they can drive right off the lot rather than waiting for a new one.”
Other vehicles that are more expensive to buy lightly used than new include the Toyota Tacoma, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Tundra and Dodge Challenger.