CarGurus Study Identifies Most Affordable and Most Expensive Cities for Used Car Shopping

Data Shows Up to 16% Price Difference Between Markets

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., February 13, 2013 -- CarGurus (, the nation’s fastest growing car shopping website, today released a study identifying the most affordable and most expensive U.S. cities in which to buy a used car. Topping the list of deal-friendly destinations is Miami, FL, followed by Cleveland, OH, Rochester, NY, and Detroit, MI. Jackson, MS, was found to be the most expensive used car city, followed by Seattle, WA, Montgomery, AL, and Little Rock, AR.

CarGurus analysts say price differences between cities can be substantial. Relative to nationwide prices, used cars in the most affordable city, Miami, are on average 6.6% less expensive, while used cars in Jackson, MS, are 9% more expensive, a difference of 15.6 percentage points. The study highlights the extent to which local market conditions inform prices on used cars. The data also suggests that motivated shoppers may want to search for savings beyond their home turf -- or try to sell their car in a higher priced market than their own.

CarGurus’ free listings search tool applies mathematical models to analyze and compare millions of car listings and help users find great deals in their local market. The company’s Instant Market Value (IMV) algorithm was recently updated to factor used car values in 139 different metro and rural areas across the country, giving users the most accurate view on prices in a specific market. For this study, CarGurus aggregated local IMV data on millions of used cars listed for sale, and ranked the largest metro areas in the contiguous United States according to how prices in that market compare to the nationwide average.

“Prices can vary substantially from city to city, and depending on where you live, it may pay to look beyond your ZIP code to find greater savings,” said Langley Steinert, founder and CEO of CarGurus. “At a minimum, understanding how an individual car listing compares to similar listings in the same market will help any car shopper make more informed, confident purchase decisions.”

CarGurus’ Top 10 Most Affordable Cities to Buy a Used Car

  1. Miami, FL
  2. Cleveland, OH
  3. Rochester, NY
  4. Detroit, MI
  5. Stamford, CT
  6. Akron, OH
  7. Buffalo, NY
  8. Toledo, OH
  9. New York, NY
  10. Minneapolis, MN

CarGurus’ Top 10 Most Expensive Cities to Buy a Used Car

  1. Jackson, MS
  2. Seattle, WA
  3. Montgomery, AL
  4. Little Rock, AR
  5. Knoxville, TN
  6. Mobile, AL
  7. Fresno, CA
  8. Memphis, TN
  9. Wichita, KS
  10. Lincoln, NE


For this analysis, CarGurus compared Instant Market Value (IMV) data on more than 3 million used cars listed for sale in the largest metro areas in the contiguous U.S. to determine how prices stack up in different parts of the country. CarGurus’ Instant Market Value (IMV) calculation is determined by a proprietary algorithm that analyzes millions of car listings daily, factoring make, model, year, mileage, trim, options, accident history and the specific location of millions of listings. To rank cities, analysts compared how average prices in each metro area compare to the nationwide average. Metro areas are defined as the area 50 miles around the city center. Used cars from model years prior to 2000 were excluded from this study. For the complete ranked list of cities, click here.

CarGurus’ free listings search tool helps users compare available car listings from their desktop or mobile device and quickly identify the best deals in their local area. Millions of car listings are analyzed daily to calculate the Instant Market Value (IMV) and rank whether a deal is great, good, fair or overpriced compared to similar local listings. Specific details factor into the analysis, including make, model, trim, year, mileage, options, location and vehicle history.

About CarGurus

CarGurus ( is a leading online automotive destination focused on bringing transparency to the car research and shopping experience. Located in Cambridge, MA, CarGurus was founded in 2006 by Langley Steinert, co-founder and former Chairman of TripAdvisor. More than 5 million users visit CarGurus each month to research and shop for new and used cars, making CarGurus one of the top 10 most trafficked and the #1 fastest growing automotive shopping website in the U.S.

Amy Mueller