A global semiconductor chip shortage. Historically short vehicle supply. Higher new and used car prices. The automotive industry sure hit a wild whirlwind of once-in-a-lifetime scenarios in just 18 months, and that’s made it far more difficult for car shoppers.
In a normal world, you could research used cars until you were blue in the face. In a normal world, you could wait for just the right deal. In a normal world, you’re in charge of when, where and how to buy.
Yet we don’t live in a normal world — at least, not for another few months or longer, according to some CEOs and analysts. Now’s not the time to hunt for bargains and cheap used cars for sale. Instead, it’s the time to find a good enough pre-owned vehicle that isn’t priced to the moon, and then buy it that very afternoon. Is it ideal? Not necessarily, but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
Fortunately, the market’s not all bad, as there are a number of great pre-owned options out there that offer quality and affordability. Let’s take a look at a few of the best used vehicles to buy in a not-so-normal world.
Hatchbacks: Used Honda Fit
The used hatchback segment has seen the smallest price increase in the industry. Since last year, pre-owned hatchbacks have gone up just 12% in price, which compares to the 17% average across the board.
Top amongst the bunch is the Honda Fit, which was sadly discontinued after the 2020 model year. Although it’s no longer in production, the Fit continues to be what other hatchbacks and even compact SUVs aim for.
If you’re hoping to buy a new small SUV for its cargo-carrying capabilities, seriously consider a pre-owned Honda hatchback like the Fit. Built with Honda’s clever 2nd-row Magic Seat, the Honda Fit is incredibly versatile — and not just for a hatchback. With its seats down, it offers 52.7 cubic feet of cargo volume*, which is more space than some compact crossovers, like the 2021 Ford Ecosport (50.0 cu. ft.), 2022 Chevy Trax (48.4 cu. ft.), and 2021 Hyundai Kona (45.8 cu. ft.).
Check with your Honda dealer to see if there are any certified used Honda Fits for sale near you. It’ll be well worth it.
Small SUVs: Used Honda HR-V
As of June 2021, the year-over-year price change on pre-owned Honda HR-Vs is just 6.9%, below the 15% average for the segment. That’s a great incentive to buy a used HR-V, but sticker price isn’t everything.
With a certified pre-owned Honda HR-V, you’re also getting one of the safest small SUVs in the country. The 2019 HR-V earned an IIHS TSP award, a 5-star overall safety rating by the NHTSA, and excellent grades from consumerreports.org.
If you can nab a 2019 HR-V EX trim or higher, you’re in even better shape. That’s because the Honda Sensing suite joined the list of standard features in the ‘19 HR-V EX. Honda Sensing includes Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Honda LaneWatch.
Visit a Honda dealership near you to search for a deal on a certified pre-owned Honda HR-V.
Small Trucks: Used Honda Ridgeline
With new trucks waiting in lots for chips, pre-owned truck prices have become astronomically high. On average, used trucks cost up to 46% more than they did last year. The big-boy “1500” trucks are seeing serious wallet-emptying sticker tags, but small trucks are right behind them. For instance, used Toyota Tundras are up 45% and used Ford Rangers are up 63%.
Of the few pre-owned pickup trucks that haven’t hit that 46% price average, the Honda Ridgeline (39%) is perhaps the best and most capable one. Ridgelines come with several first-in-class features, like a lockable 7.3-cubic-foot trunk and cooler built into the bed, a dual-hinge tailgate, and a lay-flat bed with its own sound system.
Right now, the Honda Ridgeline is the best used truck to buy for its price, capability, and overall reliability. Full stop. Speak with your Honda dealer to get a quote on a pre-owned Ridgeline for sale near you.
Used Vehicles with 100,000 Miles
With a growing number of people chasing a shrinking crop of certified used Honda vehicles, many shoppers are moving away from CPO and into the unchartered territory of “cars with 100k miles.”
While common knowledge dictates that vehicles with more mileage are less dependable than vehicles with less mileage, we don’t follow the norm these days (we don’t live in a normal world, remember?). For the money, a vehicle with over 100,000 miles can serve its purpose and last through the supply issues — and even further down the line.
In fact, the quality of vehicles in the past decade has improved significantly. In the 1990s, a car with 100k miles was basically a ticking time bomb that was set to puff its last puff at the least opportune moment. A newer car, one built in the 21st century, can go for well over 100,000 miles before it begins showing signs of age.
To top it off, because these older used cars have seen most of their depreciation already, you won’t be out too much money if prices steady back to “in normal world” levels. You may even break even or make some cash if you invest and drive wisely.
The best way to see what pre-owned car prices are in your area is to contact a used car lot near you. You can request a quote and browse their inventory online to get an idea of availability. But remember: Strike while the iron’s hot! If you wait too long to buy a used vehicle, it could mean spending hundreds or thousands of dollars extra.
About South Florida Honda Dealers
With various new Honda stores and used car dealerships in Miami-Dade and nearby counties, we proudly serve local car shoppers, sellers and owners. Find your local South Florida Honda dealership today and be sure to request a quote online before you visit a dealer.
Cargo volume based on SAE J1100 cargo volume measurement standard plus, where applicable, floor space between seating rows and seats in their forward-most and upright position.