The 10 Best (and Worst) Cities for Buying a Used Car

Runs good. Real good. No refunds.
Runs good. Real good. No refunds. / Michael H/Digital Vision via Getty Images

Not long ago, shopping for a used car meant paying a modest price for something (hopefully) dependable with a bit of mileage on it. Today, it means paying an exorbitant sum that might have you wondering why you don’t just buy new. In March of 2022, the average price for a pre-loved vehicle was more than $33,000. While the market appears to be cooling, it’s still an expensive proposition.

Recently, online used car dealer The Clunker Junker compiled a list of the 10 cities where you might wind up spending a little bit less on a car. To gather data, the site analyzed roughly 183,000 listings for 14 popular car models across 200 cities on, finding both the average price and then cities that fell below that number. Here’s what they found:


Price vs. National Average

Jersey City, NJ

-9.08 Percent

Hollywood, FL

-8.96 Percent

Miami, FL

-7.95 Percent

Huntington Beach, CA

-6.97 Percent

Detroit, MI

-5.98 Percent

Cleveland, OH

-4.31 Percent

Santa Ana, CA

-4.28 Percent

Orlando, FL

-4.11 Percent

Fort Lauderdale, FL

-3.92 Percent

Tampa, FL

-3.78 Percent

As you can see, it pays to be a used car shopper in Florida, where five of the top 10 cities for buying used are located.

The site also took a look at the cities where you’re likely to pay more than the national average:


Price vs. National Average

Anchorage, AK

+9.84 Percent

El Paso, TX

+8.85 Percent

Wichita, KS

+8.09 Percent

Honolulu, HI

+7.78 Percent

Albuquerque, NM

+7.73 Percent

Escondido, CA

+6.97 Percent

Lubbock, TX

+6.28 Percent

Montgomery, AL

+6.19 Percent

Baton Rouge, LA

+5.92 Percent

Savannah, GA

+5.89 Percent

There is, of course, more that goes into the cost of a car than the sticker price. You’ll be charged different sales tax amounts depending on the state, or perhaps none at all. Alaska, for example, won’t hit car buyers with state sales tax, which might make Anchorage’s top ranking sting a little less.