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Nissan Leaf, BMW 5 Series Among Best Used-Car Deals This Year

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Buying a late-model used car is usually a good financial decision. You get a nearly new car while someone else gets the initial depreciation hit, which is steep in the first few years of a car’s life. Through the first half of 2015, however, some used cars are proving to be exceptionally good deals.

Related: Low Gas Prices Send Prices for Used Plug-in Car Tumbling

The average asking price for all used cars from the 2012 to 2014 model years dipped just 0.63 percent ($144) from the beginning of 2015 through June, settling at $22,765. The average price for the Nissan Leaf electric car, however, fell a staggering 22.5 percent ($3,786) to $13,071.

What’s behind the big drop in the Leaf’s asking price? A few factors are at play. Even though gas prices have been rising this year, they’re still low compared to recent history, effectively removing one incentive to buy a fully electric car. The average price for a gallon of regular gas was $2.77 on June 29, which was 90 cents less than the year before, according to AAA.

The supply of used Leafs has also nearly doubled. There were 511 used Nissan Leafs for sale on at the beginning of the year, but the number had increased to 976 at the end of June.

If you’re in the market for a used BMW, you’re also in luck. Cars from the German luxury brand make up half of the spots in the top 10, including three versions of the 5 Series sedan. Average prices for the base 528i model sank the most, down 17.2 percent ($6,853) to $33,095. The current 5 Series is at the end of its lifecycle and a redesigned version is expected soon. The popular 328i compact car and Z4 roadster also made the list with price drops of 12.7 and 11.2 percent, respectively.

The chart details used cars from the 2012 to 2014 model years with the biggest price drops through the first half of 2015. To be eligible for the list, a model must have at least 250 cars in’s national search listings.

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Source: used-car listings, 2012 to 2014 model years

Photo of Mike Hanley
Mike Hanley has more than 20 years of experience reporting on the auto industry. His primary focus is new vehicles, and he's currently a Senior Road Test Editor overseeing expert car reviews and comparison tests. He previously managed Editorial content in the Research section. Email Mike Hanley

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