Think All Used Cars Are Lemon? You Couldn’t Be Further From the Truth

Used cars for sale in anchorage

In 2012, an estimated 40.5 million used cars were sold in the United States. If this seems unexpected to you, it will likely surprise you even more to learn that used car sales are growing: from 2009 to 2014, the U.S. used car industry grew by an estimated 3.5% annually. As evidence of this, in 2013, approximately 41,000,000 used cars were sold, around 500,000 more than had been sold the previous year. But what could be causing this success and growth?

The image that most likely comes to mind when the average American thinks about used cars for sale is the type of car that our culture has termed a “lemon”: a vehicle, either new or used, that has so many serious problems that it is hardly worth driving (that is, if it runs). A used car of this breed also likely has a scratched, rusted, unappealing exterior that matches it’s mechanical problems. For these reasons, a lemon is inexpensive, and cost was likely the convincing feature that caused the unfortunate driver to buy such a car. However, when it comes to the actuality of buying used cars, the only thing used cars for sale have in common with a lemon is price, but even then, it is the value of used cars, not the price, which is usually the swaying factor.

If you compare used cars with new cars, cost is typically the primary difference between the two options. This is especially true because good used cars often come with a variety of common amenities, such as air conditioning, which is included in almost 50% of used vehicles. This difference in cost is therefore caused not by a difference in quality, but by the high depreciation rate new vehicles experience in the first two to four years after purchase: because new car models are constantly being added to the automobile market, cars quickly become considered outdated and essentially lose value by simply driving off the lot. In contrast, the average price of a used car in the United States is an estimated $14,375, a value that tends to remain stable unless the vehicle is damaged.

There are an estimated average of 3.3 million used cars for sale at any time in the United States. Every year, the used vehicle industry in the U.S. sells several million of these, generating an estimated $101 billion dollars in revenue. If you have always associated used cars with poor quality, outdated, rusted vehicles, these numbers are probably hint that you’ve been mistaken. Challenge your preconceptions: check out the affordable used cars for sale in your area and see if the used car industry can change your mind.
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