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What Are the Used Cars With the Highest Rising Resale Value?

09-tesla-model-3-2018-dynamic--exterior--rear-angle--red.jpg Tesla Model 3 | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

The lingering inventory shortage is keeping used cars in high demand and their prices remain elevated as a result. It’s undoubtedly a challenging time to buy a car — especially for frugal shoppers — but with challenge comes opportunity: A Cars.com survey found that consumers who have a vehicle to sell or trade in will likely get more money than they expected for their old car. In fact, many reported getting thousands of dollars over what they anticipated for their trade-ins in recent weeks.

Related: Now Is a Good Time to Sell Your Extra Used Car; Here’s Why

Cars.com and Accu-Trade data also reveals that some used-vehicle values are rising faster than others. This is especially true for electric vehicles, popular nameplates, vans and sporty cars. Read on to see which used-vehicle values are surging the most and determine if it’s time to sell or trade in.

Dealers, Consumers Report Rising Trade-in Values

According to the survey, 60% of dealers estimate trade-in payouts are up between 11% and 20% compared to two years ago, and more than 1 in 3 dealers report payouts greater than 20%. Consumers are seeing a similar trend: Approximately two-thirds of car owners who traded in their vehicles received a higher offer than expected, about half of the respondents received more than $1,000 above their expected trade-in amount, and 20% reported they received $3,000 or more.

Top 10 Cars With the Fastest-Growing Resale Value

toyota-rav4-prime-2021-01-angle--exterior--front--red.jpg 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Cars.com image by Aaron Bragman

The following 2018-21 used vehicles saw the highest jump in resale value from March to April 2022. Also included in the list are the vehicles’ median list prices among Cars.com dealers as of April. While the list prices provide a benchmark for the vehicles’ market value, it’s worth noting that the dealer-listed prices are different from the negotiated prices consumers actually pay for the vehicle or the vehicle’s trade-in value.

1. Tesla Model 3: 12% increase in resale value; $49,500 median price
2. Kia Optima: 12%; $22,922
3. Toyota RAV4 Prime: 12%; $47,494
4. Tesla Model Y: 9%; $64,767
5. Toyota Corolla: 9%; $22,745
6. Ford Transit: 8%; $45,992
7. Kia Sportage: 8%; $25,827
8. Honda Civic: 8%; $25,369
9. Toyota Camry: 8%; $28,373
10. Chevrolet Bolt EV: 8%; $25,447

Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

tesla-model-y-2020-04-angle--exterior--rear--white.jpg 2020 Tesla Model Y Autopilot | Manufacturer image

Interest in electric and hybrid vehicles has skyrocketed due to the recent rise in gas prices, and  the resale values for these categories are also trending up. Used EVs like the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y and Chevrolet Bolt EV, along with hybrids and plug-in hybrids like Hyundai Ioniq, Toyota Prius and Toyota RAV4 Prime, saw the highest jump in resale value from March to April.

  • Tesla Model 3: 12%
  • Toyota RAV4 Prime: 12%
  • Tesla Model Y: 9%
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV: 8%
  • Kia Niro: 7%
  • Hyundai Ioniq: 6%
  • Toyota Prius: 4%

Bestsellers

kia-optima-2020-exterior-front-three-quarter-oem 2020 Kia Optima | Manufacturer image

In addition to EVs, the resale values for popular models are rising fast. Despite the increasing popularity of large vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks, several compact and mid-size sedans saw a significant surge in resale value. When it comes to average resale value by brand, Kia and Tesla lead the pack with a 7% increase month over month.

  • Kia Optima: 12%
  • Toyota Corolla: 9%
  • Kia Sportage: 8%
  • Honda Civic: 8%
  • Toyota Camry: 8%
  • Honda Accord: 7%

Full-Size Vans and Sporty Cars

dodge-challenger-r-t-scat-pack-widebody-2020-01-dynamic--exterior--profile--purple.jpg This is a 2020 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody, not a Hellcat, though you'd be forgiven for mistaking it as one. | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

There were two additional vehicle categories that saw an upward trend in used-car resale value: vans and sporty vehicles. Among the first group, trade-in values for the Ford Transit climbed 8% and the Nissan NV was up 7%. The Dodge Charger and Challenger reached 6% and 5%, respectively.

Should You Sell Your Vehicle?

Before rushing out to sell or trade in your car, consider your next steps. Although it can be a great time to sell an extra car that’s been sitting in the driveway, if you need to replace your vehicle with a new one, you may encounter some roadblocks: Experts predict that inventory constraints will last through 2022 and may even plague car shoppers in 2023. Replacing your old car can cost significantly more in the current environment, and the increased trade-in value might not offset the premium.

How to Get the Most Money for Your Car

If you determine that selling or trading in your car is the route you should take, it’s a good idea to shop around for the best offer whether you plan to sell it privately or at a dealership. Because used vehicles are in high demand and supply is low, your vehicle may be worth more than you think. Estimate your vehicle’s market value with tools like Cars.com’s used-car selling page, and use your findings as leverage to negotiate for the best trade-in offer.

Even if your vehicle landed among the most valuable used vehicles for resale above, remember that a car’s value is determined by many factors in addition to make and model. The car’s current condition, mileage and accident history all play a role. To get the most money for your vehicle, it’s a good idea to prepare by cleaning the interior and exterior, taking care of minor repairs and gathering all the necessary documents, as well as extras like key fobs.

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Related Video: How to Prep your Car for Sale

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