Sales Have Slowed To A Crawl For These 15 Used Cars, According To A New Study

COVID-19 isn't just crushing the new car market — it's impacting used sales, as well.

Tesla Model 3
The current situation has chilled used car sales, with certain models hit harder than others. [Photo:]

Right now, buyers aren’t necessarily in the mindset to buy a new car, or even a used one. The researchers over at published a new study analyzing 1.8 million used cars up for sale in February and March 2020. The goal here isn’t to look at how many cars were actually sold, but what percentage of certain models were sold within 30 days of being listed for sale. Overall, the amount of cars sold within 30 days of their original listing dropped 9.8 percent between February and March 2020, which means used models are sitting around longer than usual until they actually find a buyer.

That’s not great news for used car dealers, but it is a short-window opportunity for buyers. While sales have been bleak in both new and used car markets amid the coronavirus pandemic, buyers will regain confidence and auto sales will likely rebound in the coming months. But right now, dealers are in a pinch trying to move inventory, and going after certain slow-selling models could land you a great deal, if you’re in the market for a used car right now.

April 2018 Sales Report: Toyota RAV4
If you’re looking for a strong used buy, the Toyota RAV4 has slowed down in recent weeks due to the coronavirus, meaning you could land a deal on a last-gen model (or even some early 2019s). [Photo: Toyota]

The 15 slowest-selling used cars due to COVID-19

Unlike some of iSeeCars’ other studies, looking at this used car market actually resulted in a mixed bag, according to those 1.8 million sales listings. You’d expect a certain kind of car to dominate the list — perhaps sedans, since they’ve been historically slow sellers on the new car market — but there are a mix of electric cars, crossovers, big SUVs and small sedans for your consideration. In short, you’re likely to find something that fits the bill no matter what sort of car you need.

Again, this information breaks down the percentage of cars that sell within 30 days. As a result, the difference between February and March 2020 shows how much sales have slowed down for a particular model. At the top was the Tesla Model 3, which saw used sales drop 24.2 percent from February to March. Tesla’s volume seller has been a hit in terms of new sales, but there’s also been a strong second-hand demand as people are looking for the best deals they can get, even if the Model 3’s resale value is remarkably high.

Other notable inclusions here include the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which was a strong used buy as there was a supply shortage for the new model for some months. Now that the new RAV4 Hybrid is here en masse (as is the standard RAV4) and Toyota has killer deals on brand new RAV4s right now, that could be weakening the used market at the moment. Study Results:

Average 30-day sale rate from listing: –9.8% from February 2020

Rank% Sold w/i 30 Days: March+/- From Feb 2020
1Tesla Model 347.4%-24.2%
2Toyota RAV4 Hybrid41.3%-20.9%
3Volkswagen Atlas45.3%-19.4%
4Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross34.9%-19.0%
5Tesla Model X40.4%-17.5%
6Chevrolet Spark45.4%-17.1%
7Toyota RAV443.2%-16.8%
8Toyota C-HR37.2%-16.8%
9Lexus GX 46041.7%-16.7%
10Honda HR-V36.4%-16.6%
11Honda Pilot43.4%-16.2%
12Toyota Highlander47.9%-16.1%
13Honda Civic49.1%-15.9%
14Honda Odyssey47.6%-15.8%
15Honda CR-V42.1%-15.7%

Another important note: The iSeeCars study strictly analyzes used car listings between February and March 2020. Since then, we’ve experienced an even rougher slowdown between March and April, which can impact sales even further. As stay-at-home orders have forced dealers to adopt new strategies to pull in customers, you may be able to get even better used deals on these cars if you have the means.