Used-car prices drop in May, but EVs and hybrids are up

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There is a light at the end of the tunnel for buyers seeking a used car, according to a recent study. Although the average price of a used car increased by 16.9% in May 2022 compared to May 2021, that figure is down from 23.9% in April 2022 and it fell for the fourth straight month.

Demand for hybrid and electric models drove the industry average up, according to website iSeeCars. The cost of a used electric car and a used hybrid car increased by 37.7% and 32.1%, respectively, while the cost of a non-electrified car went up by 16.3% in May 2022. It's fitting, then, that many of the cars that posted the lowest price increase are also among the thirstiest: the top five spots went to the Chevrolet Camaro (0.3%), Ford F-150 (3.0%), Nissan Armada (3.2%), Nissan Titan XD (3.9%), and Toyota Tundra (4.1%).

Hyundai's Sonata Hybrid leads the chart: its average price was pegged at $26,358 in May 2022, an increase of 47.8% ($8,530) compared to May 2021. Second place goes to the Nissan Leaf with a 41.4% ($7,829) increase. And yet, it's clear that not all buyers are putting efficiency at the top of their list. The average used Mercedes-Benz G-Class cost $204,649 in May 2022, up 35.7% ($53,868) from May 2021. Several factors influence this trend, according to iSeeCars, including the waiting time for a new G-Class that currently stands at over a year.

Interestingly, some body styles bucked that trend — and they're not the usual suspects. While the industry average for used-car price increases in May 2022 stands at 16.9%, hatchbacks, wagons, and sedans (three body styles we're repeatedly assured that Americans don't want) rose by 23.7%, 23.5%, and 22.2%, respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, the average cost of a pickup rose by only 6.3%.

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