(iSeeCars) — A combination of restricted used car supply and inflation has forced buyers into much older used cars over the past 4 years.

Buyers with a $23,000 budget could purchase a 3-year-old car in 2019, but that same amount is not enough for an average 6-year-old used car today. The reduced production of new cars in 2020, 2021, and 2022 is now reflected in limited used car availability and dramatically higher prices.

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 21 million used cars sold in 2019 and 2023 and found that the average age of used cars sold increased from 4.8 years to 6.1 years, while the average price across all ages increased from $20,398 to $27,133.


  • Today’s late-model used car shoppers have to buy cars more than twice as old as what the same money bought them in 2019
  • $23,000 Bought a 3-year-old used car in 2019, but today $23,000 won’t even buy a 6-year-old car 
  • Limited production of new cars in 2020-2022 is reflected in the scarce availability of 1- to 3-year-old used cars

“Plant shutdowns and limited new car production during the pandemic is still playing havoc with the used car market,” said iSeeCars’ Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “With 28 percent fewer 1- to 3-year-old used cars today compared to 2019, buyers have to shop 6-year-old – or older – cars to find a comparably priced vehicle.” 

Limited new car production during pandemic means limited used cars today

Looking at used car market share reflects the lack of new car production due to supply chain issues between 2020 and 2022.

“The impact of restricted new car production during the pandemic has come home to roost in the used car market,” said Brauer. “With 1- to 3-year-old used car supply down between 20 and 45 percent, buyers that previously shopped for late model year used cars now have to spend much more or consider much older vehicles.”  

Age of Cars and Change in Market Share: 2019 to 2023 –iSeeCars Study
Age of Cars (Years)% Share 2019% Share 2023% Change in Share, 2019-2023

The money that bought a 3-year-old car in 2019 can’t buy a 6-year-old car in 2023

Restricted new car production during the pandemic has impacted the entire used car market. One-year-old used cars have had the highest price increase of 67 percent from 2019 compared to 2023. While the most dramatic price increases have occurred for 1- to 7-year-old vehicles, prices of all car ages are up an average of 33 percent across the used car market.

Change in Average Price of Used Cars by Age: 2019 to 2023 – iSeeCars Study
Age of Cars (Years)Average Price 2019Average Price 2023% Change in Average Price, 2019-2023
Overall Average$20,398$27,13333.0%

Today’s used car budget buys much older used cars compared to 2019

iSeeCars analyzed the prices of 3-year-old models in 2019 and compared them to what that same amount of money would buy in 2023. The 48 models listed below have to be more than twice as old in 2023 to cost roughly the same as (within $1,000 of) their 2019 prices. 

Used Car Budget and Age Comparison: 2019 vs 2023  – iSeeCars Study
ModelAverage 3-Year-Old Price in 2019Age of Same Car with Closest Average Price in 2023Average Price (for Older Car) in 2023
Chevrolet Spark$9,8789$9,692
Nissan Versa$10,0958$10,148
Nissan Versa Note$10,4358$10,387
Chevrolet Sonic$10,6598$10,552
Hyundai Accent$10,4648$10,609
Fiat 500$11,7668$11,320
Kia Forte$12,0318$11,525
Hyundai Elantra$12,2228$11,925
Honda Fit$14,5758$14,464
Mazda MAZDA3$14,4978$14,530
Volkswagen Golf$14,8768$14,758
Toyota Corolla$14,3738$14,788
Honda Civic$16,3518$15,460
Toyota Camry$16,5708$16,194
Ford Mustang$23,5848$23,755
Chevrolet Corvette$53,5278$52,759
Dodge Dart$12,0867$11,687
Ford Fiesta$11,1247$11,781
Chevrolet Cruze Limited$12,3527$11,871
Nissan Sentra$12,6427$12,124
Hyundai Elantra GT$12,9657$12,949
Ford Focus$12,7897$12,990
Chevrolet Malibu Limited$13,7407$13,170
Kia Soul$13,3237$13,317
Volkswagen Jetta$13,4947$13,722
Fiat 500X$14,4767$13,895
Ford Fusion$14,7657$13,975
Hyundai Veloster$13,3187$14,022
Volkswagen Passat$14,6847$14,406
Chrysler 200$14,0967$14,670
Volkswagen Tiguan$16,2987$15,437
Subaru Impreza$16,6427$15,995
Mazda MAZDA6$16,3857$16,149
Jeep Renegade$17,3887$16,977
Acura ILX$17,7657$17,440
Mazda CX-3$17,7037$17,736
Honda HR-V$18,0227$17,820
Honda Accord$18,0387$18,580
Volkswagen Golf GTI$19,7577$18,970
Toyota Prius$19,9037$20,101
Honda CR-V$20,4117$20,142
Nissan Frontier$20,4137$20,361
Toyota RAV4$20,7827$20,400
Jeep Wrangler$26,0037$25,653
Gmc Canyon$26,5547$25,690
Toyota Tacoma$28,5307$28,980
Dodge Challenger$29,5297$29,650
Overall Average$23,0486$24,210

“The 2019 budget that purchased 3-year-old versions of these cars now buys a 7- to 9-year-old version of that same model,” said Brauer. “Given that the average car is driven between 10,000 and 15,000 miles a year, these cars are not only more than twice as old, but have between 40,000 and 100,000-plus more miles – for the same money.”

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iSeeCars analyzed over 21 million used cars sold between January and August of 2019 and 2023. The share of cars from each model year, as well as their prices, were aggregated to determine the change in share and price by age across the two periods. The average price of 3-year-old cars in 2019 was also compared to prices from all ages in 2023 to determine the price with the smallest absolute difference from the 3-year-old 2019 price. Similar data was then obtained and aggregated at the model level, excluding heavy-duty vehicles and low-production models.

About iSeeCars.com

iSeeCars.com is a data-driven car search and research company that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, including the iSeeCars VIN Check report and Best Cars Rankings. iSeeCars has saved users over $399 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, Pandemic Hangover Forces Used Car Shoppers To Buy Much Older Cars, originally appeared on iSeeCars.com