U.S. cities with the biggest drop in used car prices
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U.S. cities with the biggest drop in used car prices

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Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

The uncertainty precipitated by COVID-19 has affected every sector of the economy, including the automotive industry. Car dealerships are experiencing sharp declines in used car sales, as much of the country still remains under lockdown. While used car sales have always been prone to fluctuations, data from the U.S. Census Bureau found that retail used car sales plummeted more than 20 percent year-over-year in March even before the full effects of stay-at-home orders were realized. The last time that used car sales fell so precipitously was at the onset of the Great Recession in 2008.



Research from automotive research firm Manheim shows that in response to reduced demand, wholesale prices (what dealers pay to buy the used cars they sell) experienced a more than 11 percent drop in April. However, the drop in wholesale used car prices has not fully hit the retail market—at least not yet. According to analysis from CoPilot, which aggregates car listings data in real-time across 46,000 U.S. dealers, retail prices for pre-owned vehicles only fell 3.6 percent nationwide between January and May 2020.

Experts from Kelley Blue Book suggest that because car dealers have largely avoided purchasing new inventory in recent weeks, they aren’t in a rush to cut prices as a way to move their existing inventory. However, an analysis from MAX Digital predicts that a combination of record supply, damaged consumer confidence, and new car incentives will ultimately create a perfect storm causing retail prices to drop sharply in the coming weeks.


Despite only a slight drop in retail prices at the national level, some parts of the country are already experiencing steeper declines than others. Between January and May, individual U.S. states experienced price drops ranging from 1-5 percent. The states with the biggest drops include Utah, Delaware, and Florida, which all experienced decreases greater than 4.5 percent. By contrast, the states with the lowest drops include Hawaii, Wyoming, and Mississippi.



At a more granular level, certain metropolitan areas have also experienced faster declines in used car prices, representing good opportunities for buyers. To identify these locations, researchers from CoPilot, a car shopping app that helps guide users through the buying process, analyzed its proprietary dataset of more than 6 million used car listings in the United States and created a ranking based on each location’s change in average listing price between January and May 2020. To improve relevance, only metros with at least one million residents were included in the analysis.

Here are the top 25 major metros with the biggest drop in used car prices so far in 2020.


Major Metros With the Steepest Drop in Used Car Prices

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25. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

Average change in used car prices: -3.94%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class (-11%)

Subaru Legacy (-9%)

Cadillac XT5 (-9%)

Subaru Impreza (-9%)

BMW 3 Series (-9%)

Honda Odyssey (-9%)

Population: 4,934,289


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

24. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

Average change in used car prices: -4.01%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Volkswagen Jetta (-12%)

Hyundai Sonata (-11%)

BMW X5 (-10%)

Kia Optima (-10%)

Nissan Versa (-9%)

Jeep Grand Cherokee (-8%)

Population: 2,442,650


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

23. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN

Average change in used car prices: -4.21%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Nissan Rogue (-10%)

Ford Fusion (-8%)

Kia Sorento (-8%)

Honda Civic (-8%)

Toyota Camry (-8%)

Honda Pilot (-8%)

Population: 2,048,150


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

22. Columbus, OH

Average change in used car prices: -4.22%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Lexus RX (-11%)

Subaru Forester (-10%)

Subaru Outback (-10%)

Chrysler Pacifica Minivan (-9%)

Nissan Murano (-9%)

Nissan Rogue (-8%)

Population: 2,007,657


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

21. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

Average change in used car prices: -4.32%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Chevrolet Camaro (-13%)

Jeep Patriot (-11%)

Chrysler Pacifica Minivan (-10%)

Volkswagen Tiguan (-10%)

GMC Terrain (-9%)

Nissan Versa (-9%)

Population: 4,845,714


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

20. Austin-Round Rock, TX

Average change in used car prices: -4.37%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Lexus RX (-9%)

Ford Edge (-9%)

Honda Civic (-8%)

Honda CR-V (-7%)

Audi Q5 (-7%)

Honda Pilot (-7%)

Population: 2,208,827


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

19. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

Average change in used car prices: -4.49%

Models with the biggest price drops:

BMW 3 Series (-13%)

Nissan Sentra (-11%)

BMW X3 (-11%)

Chevrolet Equinox (-10%)

Subaru Outback (-8%)

Subaru Forester (-8%)

Population: 2,499,346


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

18. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

Average change in used car prices: -4.53%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Subaru Forester (-12%)

Honda Pilot (-12%)

Ford Escape (-9%)

Honda Civic (-9%)

Volkswagen Jetta (-8%)

Subaru Outback (-8%)

Population: 2,140,493


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

17. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

Average change in used car prices: -4.54%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Lexus RX (-13%)

Lexus NX (-11%)

BMW 5 Series (-11%)

Subaru Forester (-11%)

Hyundai Sonata (-10%)

Audi Q5 (-10%)

Population: 2,607,608


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

16. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA

Average change in used car prices: -4.68%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Ford Mustang (-16%)

Jeep Grand Cherokee (-15%)

Jeep Cherokee (-12%)

Nissan Versa (-9%)

Hyundai Elantra (-9%)

Ford Escape (-9%)

Population: 4,622,146


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

15. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

Average change in used car prices: -4.68%

Models with the biggest price drops:

BMW 3 Series (-12%)

Dodge Charger (-12%)

Honda CR-V (-9%)

Nissan Pathfinder (-9%)

Hyundai Tucson (-9%)

Subaru Outback (-9%)

Population: 3,143,408


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

14. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

Average change in used car prices: -4.69%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Chrysler Pacifica Minivan (-12%)

Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD (-12%)

Kia Forte (-11%)

Audi Q7 (-11%)

Nissan Titan XD (-10%)

Honda Pilot (-10%)

Population: 6,915,521


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

13. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Average change in used car prices: -4.70%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Audi Q7 (-12%)

Subaru Outback (-12%)

Nissan Pathfinder (-11%)

Jeep Renegade (-11%)

Hyundai Santa Fe (-10%)

Chevrolet Tahoe (-10%)

Population: 3,018,787


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

12. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

Average change in used car prices: -4.74%

Models with the biggest price drops:

FIAT 500e (-17%)

Audi A3 e-tron (-15%)

Volvo S60 (-12%)

Chevrolet Trax (-12%)

Chevrolet Camaro (-11%)

Audi Q3 (-10%)

Population: 13,289,748


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

11. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

Average change in used car prices: -4.75%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Subaru Forester (-10%)

Nissan Rogue Sport (-10%)

Honda Civic (-9%)

Nissan Rogue (-9%)

Nissan Sentra (-8%)

Toyota Corolla (-8%)

Population: 1,575,456


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

10. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Average change in used car prices: -4.77%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Jeep Patriot (-13%)

Land Rover Discovery Sport (-13%)

Dodge Charger (-11%)

Volkswagen Atlas (-11%)

Land Rover Range Rover (-11%)

Cadillac Escalade (-10%)

Population: 6,153,249


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

9. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

Average change in used car prices: -4.82%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Lexus IS (-14%)

Land Rover Range Rover Sport (-12%)

Ford Taurus (-12%)

Nissan Versa (-11%)

Jeep Patriot (-10%)

Audi Q7 (-10%)

Population: 9,451,910


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

8. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

Average change in used car prices: -4.92%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Land Rover Range Rover Sport (-13%)

Porsche Macan (-13%)

Volvo XC90 (-12%)

Cadillac XT5 (-11%)

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe (-11%)

Acura TLX (-10%)

Population: 5,928,469


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

7. Raleigh, NC

Average change in used car prices: -4.93%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Volkswagen Jetta (-14%)

Kia Sorento (-12%)

BMW 3 Series (-11%)

Mercedes-Benz C-Class (-10%)

Jeep Compass (-10%)

Ford Escape (-10%)

Population: 1,418,343


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

6. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN

Average change in used car prices: -5.07%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Toyota Camry (-9%)

Jeep Grand Cherokee (-9%)

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (-8%)

Ram 1500 (-8%)

Ford Edge (-7%)

Nissan Altima (-7%)

Population: 1,274,850


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

5. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

Average change in used car prices: -5.12%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Infiniti Q50 (-12%)

BMW 3 Series (-12%)

Subaru Legacy (-12%)

Volvo XC90 (-12%)

GMC Terrain (-12%)

Acura RDX (-12%)

Population: 3,675,965


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

4. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Average change in used car prices: -5.19%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Jeep Patriot (-14%)

Volvo XC60 (-13%)

Ford Focus (-13%)

Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD (-11%)

Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class (-11%)

Ram 3500 (-11%)

Population: 7,401,559


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

3. Salt Lake City, UT

Average change in used car prices: -5.20%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Hyundai Sonata (-15%)

Nissan Pathfinder (-12%)

Chevrolet Traverse (-10%)

Honda CR-V (-9%)

Mazda CX-5 (-9%)

Chevrolet Cruze (-8%)

Population: 1,277,259


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

2. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

Average change in used car prices: -5.85%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Dodge Charger (-16%)

Volkswagen Passat (-14%)

Nissan Versa (-13%)

Chevrolet Camaro (-11%)

Dodge Durango (-10%)

Kia Forte (-10%)

Population: 2,531,168


Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

1. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

Average change in used car prices: -6.59%

Models with the biggest price drops:

Kia Forte (-15%)

Dodge Charger (-15%)

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe (-15%)

Chevrolet Colorado (-15%)

Land Rover Range Rover (-14%)

BMW 3 Series (-14%)

Population: 6,161,804


Methodology & Full Results

In addition to geographic variation, not all types of used cars are suffering equal price drops. Trucks have seen the smallest decline in average sale price so far, at only 2.9 percent compared to 3.6 percent for all used vehicles. This is consistent with the fact that demand for trucks typically increases when gas prices and interest rates drop, trends which make owning a truck more affordable.


Similarly, some makes and models of cars are experiencing sharper declines than others. Luxury vehicles and electric vehicles are disproportionately represented among the top 15 models with the biggest drop in used car prices so far. Between January and May, the price of a Fiat500e dropped 16.9 percent nationally. Other models with sharp declines include the BMWi3 (10.0 percent) and the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (9.7 percent).


The data used in this analysis is from CoPilot’s proprietary dataset of more than 6 million used car listings in the United States. For this analysis, only model years 2015 and newer were included.

For every metropolitan area, CoPilot calculated the percentage change in average listing price for each year-make-model cohort between January and May 2020. CoPilot then created a weighted average of these changes based on the number of vehicles listed in each cohort. The resulting statistic is reported as the average change in used car prices. The same analysis was performed at the state and national level.

The models with the biggest price drops were calculated across all model years for each make-model cohort. To improve relevance, less popular models were not included in the analysis.

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