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Sunday, September 14, 2014

The best deals on the longest-lasting used cars

 

Forbes
                    
           
 
 
 
 
2009 Nissan Maxima
 
 For cash-strapped consumers – or those adding another vehicle to the family fleet – buying a used car is typically a decision made out of pure necessity.

It’s easy to see why: The average transaction price for a new car hit $31,252 last month according to TrueCar.com, which leaves a large number of U.S. households priced out of the new-vehicle market.
 
 A prudent, median-income household is able to afford only 54.8 percent of the average new-car cost, according to the latest Auto Buyer’s Affordability Index compiled by Requisite Press.

Not surprisingly, CNW Market Research predicts 41,250,000 used vehicles will change hands this year; that’s up slightly from 2013 but is still down from its most recent high point of 44,138,263 units in pre-recession 2005.

The good news here is that used-cars are expected to become progressively more affordable as a growing number of consumers trade in their current models for shiny new rides.
 
 Prices are predicted to fall to their lowest levels in nearly six years after an unprecedented period of inflated market values following the 2008 economic collapse and subsequent inventory shortage.
 
 By 2017, the valuation experts at ALG forecast the average new vehicle will retain 49.4 percent of its value after three years, compared to the 54.6 percent retention recorded for pre-owned models through mid-year 2014.

In the meantime, used car shoppers can find some solid – and in some cases unexpected – deals on some of the top-rated used vehicles that can be expected to deliver many years of faithful service.

To that end the folks at the used-car shopping site iSeeCars.com compiled a list of 10 used vehicles from the 2008-2012 model years that are not only expected to have among the longest life expectancy  – 200,000 miles or more when properly maintained (based on an earlier study) – but were found selling for around 10 percent below their average market value.

Largely influenced by market forces, you won’t find a single used compact crossover SUV on the best deals list, presumably because the red-hot nature of that segment is keeping resale prices high.
 
 Similarly, with small cars continuing to be in peak demand, especially among budget conscious used-car buyers, only a single compact model carries enough of a discount to make the list, namely the top-selling Honda Civic.

The Fine Print: Statisticians studied around 400,000 listings of the previously determined longest lasting entries from the 2008 to 2012 model years, that were posted between April 1 and August 1, 2014.
 
 Among those vehicles, iSeeCars.com selected the top 10 models that had the greatest number of cars for sale that were offered at the highest rates below market value.
 
“Market value” is determined using a mathematical algorithm that analyzes similar cars for sale in the same geographical area–those with the same year, make, model, trim, options, mileage, and other factors.