In the United States, owning a car is a must unless you live in a major city or anywhere west of the Mississippi. With the price of used vehicles fluctuating wildly over the past few years, you might wonder where the best place to buy a used car is. The Clunker Junker pondered the same thing. After analyzing tens of thousands of used car listings nationwide in order to come to a conclusion, it has answers. Want to buy a used car? Book a trip to New Jersey.
The Clunker Junker describes itself as "the easiest way to sell your junk car," which is what it mostly deals in. It also does surveys and studies like the one we're covering today. Using Cars.com listing data, it came to a variety of conclusions about the best and worst cities to buy a used car. Jersey City, New Jersey, is both the cheapest city in the country to purchase a used vehicle as well as the most affordable for the average resident. The most expensive city is Anchorage, Alaska, although in terms of both cost and local affordability, El Paso, Texas, takes the cake. Anchorage is comparatively cheaper for residents.
Popular used cars in Jersey City are 9% cheaper than the national average. Of the top 10 cities on the list, though, it is the only one in New Jersey. Five of the top ten are cities in Florida, and they are Miami, Tampa, Hollywood, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale. Of the remaining cities on the list, two are in California: Santa Ana and Huntington Beach. The remaining cities are Detroit and Cleveland.
Above, you can see the full lists of affordability and pricing. Texas, as it turns out, is not a great place to buy a used car, at least using this study's methodology. Four of the top 10 least affordable cities to buy a pre-owned vehicle are in Texas, and they are El Paso, Lubbock, Amarillo, and Corpus Christi. Many of the other least affordable states are in the south as well.
The study is pretty robust. To compile the data, it compared the top 200 most populous cities in the United States along with 183,640 listings from Cars.com. From there, it compared the prices of 14 common used cars from a variety of automakers. The entire methodology can be found on The Clunker Junker. The only issue I can really see with it is that uses gross income to determine affordability when disposable income might be a better way to do it. Average incomes are higher in Jersey City, for instance, but the cost of living is also pretty high.
In any case, the findings are interesting. New Jersey, believe it or not, is something of a used car mecca. In my experience, every used Maserati goes there to die and other pre-owned European cars can't be had for much less anywhere.
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