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Data Reveals Vehicle Segments Worth Purchasing New Rather Than Used

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Kelley Blue Book® Fair Purchase Price Data Reveals Vehicle Segments Worth Purchasing New Rather Than Used

Comparable New and Used-Car Pricing Found in Compact Car and Compact Crossover Categories; Used Mid-Size Sedans Continue to Offer Substantial Savings

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 14, 2013; Consumers looking for a compact car may want to consider purchasing new rather than used, according to Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price data reveals that shoppers can purchase a new compact car for as little as $339 per month with a five-year loan, which is only $30 per month more expensive than a comparable one-year-old used variant. 

The Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price is the price people typically pay a dealer for a new car, based on actual new-car transactions and adjusted regularly as market conditions change.  This information can help reduce the friction between dealers and consumers, offering buyers a realistic and relevant picture of what others are paying for similar models in their area. 

"Used compacts have been in high demand with fuel prices nearly $3.42 per gallon nationally, and values have held strong as a result," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book.  "A consumer looking to save at least $100 or more per month on a used car would need to consider a model-year 2009 or older, which likely would have 50,000 miles or more on the odometer.  While the difference between new and used pricing is relatively low for the segment, there are several models that offer nearly identical pricing whether new or slightly used."

For example, buying a one-year-old used Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic will only save consumers about $20 per month.  On the other hand, bargain-driven buyers looking to save a few bucks while still purchasing a great car can look toward purchasing a gently used Hyundai Elantra or Ford Focus.  Consumers can save closer to $50 per month on either of those vehicles by opting for a used 2012 model-year vehicle, rather than a brand-new model.  The popular compact car segment was the most researched on in 2012, accounting for 16.4 percent share of all new-vehicle research traffic.

Compact Crossover Shoppers Should Consider Purchasing New
Similar to compact cars, brand-new compact crossovers are available for only a modest premium over a comparable used model.  Shoppers interested in an all-new small crossover can expect to pay only $40 more per month than a comparable used model-year 2012.  Buyers interested in the Toyota RAV4 or Chevrolet Equinox will find just a $20 gap between new- and used-vehicle payments, while a brand-new Ford Escape commands a more sizable $60 per month premium from the slightly used variant.  This is one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry and high on the priority list for many consumers due to the segment's unique combination of utility and relative fuel efficiency.  Compact crossovers were the third most researched segment on in 2012, accounting for 13.7 percent of all new-vehicle research traffic.

Used Mid-Size Sedans Offer Substantial Savings
Shoppers interested in a mid-size sedan will find considerable savings by opting for a one- or two-year-old used model rather than purchasing new.  On average, consumers can expect to save nearly $100 per month by opting for a used model-year 2012 instead of a brand-new 2012 or 2013 vehicle. 

"The gap between new and used pricing likely is driven by the extensive redesigns introduced for most of the best-selling mid-size models for 2013," said Gutierrez.  "The Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Fusion all were redesigned for model-year 2013, and thus are generating a premium relative to their used previous-generation counterparts." 

An all-new 2013 Nissan Altima or Honda Accord will cost nearly $100 more per month than a used 2012, while a Toyota Camry, which was redesigned for the 2012 model year, only maintains a $50 price premium.  In 2012, the mid-size segment once again was the top-selling segment in the United States, and it was the second most researched on for the year, accounting for 16 percent of all new-vehicle research traffic.

About Kelley Blue Book (
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. provides consumer pricing and information on cars for sale, minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader Group.