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The top 10 cheapest cities to buy a used car in 2024

Nighttime cityscape of Norfolk Virginia

Henryk Sadura/Getty Images

Key learning points

  • Those looking for a used car in Cleveland, Ohio will find the lowest average prices for used cars, making it the most affordable city to buy a used car.

  • Ohio residents have the best chance of getting a good deal on used cars, as three cities on the list are in Ohio.

  • Regardless of what state you plan to buy in, the best way to get a good deal comes down to finding the right vehicle financing for your needs.

Just as home prices vary by location, so do used car prices. According to a recent survey by iSeeCars, residents of Cleveland, Ohio enjoy the lowest costs for their used cars. Other cities on the top 10 list are spread from the East Coast to the West.

If you live near one of the best places to buy a car, it may be worth traveling to save on your car costs. We calculated the car payments below based on the average interest rate of a prime borrower (9.73 percent according to Experian) and a term of 60 months.

Income statistics were requested from the US Department of Justice.

1. Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OH

  • Average price of a used car: $31,458
  • Difference from national average: $2,769 less
  • Average monthly payment: $664
  • Median individual income: $61,617

Ohio is the place for cheap used cars. The Cleveland-Akron area has the lowest average used car price in the US. Three Ohio metro areas are in the top 10, but this metro ranks first at $164.

2. Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Average price of a used car: $31,622
  • Difference from national average: $2,605 less
  • Average monthly payment: $668
  • Median individual income: $61,617

Cincinnati and Cleveland are almost neck-and-neck when it comes to average car prices. With a four-hour drive between the two cities, it’s probably not worth traveling from Cincinnati to Cleveland and back for potential minimal savings.

3. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA

  • Average price of a used car: $31,901
  • Difference from national average: $2,326 less
  • Average monthly payment: $674
  • Median individual income: $75,756

Norfolk area residents have the highest average individual income on the list and can get a good price on a used vehicle. But don’t forget to factor in car insurance, maintenance, and fuel into your average monthly payment so you don’t go over your budget.

4. Fresno-Visalia, CA

  • Average price of a used car: $31,912
  • Difference from national average: $2,315 less
  • Average monthly payment: $674
  • Median individual income: $74,819

This was the only city in the sunny state of California to make the list. It could be worth the drive for residents looking to save money. According to Car and Driver, state residents clock one of the lowest average annual miles, at 14,435 miles.

5. Orlando-Daytona Beach, FL

  • Average price of a used car: $31,971
  • Difference from national average: $2,256 less
  • Average monthly payment: $675
  • Median individual income: $62,973

There’s always one good reason to visit Orlando, but here’s another: the average car price is one of the lowest in the US. It is also a car-rich city. If you live in the Orlando-Daytona Beach area or nearby, it’s worth it to get your hands on a relatively cheap used car.

6. Detroit, Michigan

  • Average price of a used car: $31,990
  • Difference from national average: $2,237 less
  • Average monthly payment: $675
  • Median individual income: $64,579

The Motor City may be known for its car manufacturing, but it can also be a good place to find a good deal on used cars. Because used car prices are below average, Detroit is a solid competitor for cars made in Detroit or otherwise.

7. Columbus, Ohio

  • Average price of a used car: $32,177
  • Difference from national average: $2,050 less
  • Average monthly payment: $679
  • Median individual income: $61,617

Like Cincinnati and Cleveland, Columbus is also a great place to go if you’re looking for a low average price on a used car. The average monthly payment is only slightly above the average in Cincinnati. As with any car, the final price is a matter of negotiation – and the availability of the vehicle you want to purchase.

8. Pittsburgh, PA

  • Average price of a used car: $32,286
  • Difference from national average: $1,941 less
  • Average monthly payment: $682
  • Median individual income: $66,923

Pittsburgh has a few public and commuter routes for its buses and trains. But if you’re driving around town, car shopping won’t put a big dent in your budget. City residents may want to compare the cost of parking and maintaining their vehicle versus using Pittsburgh’s public transportation options.

9. Indianapolis, IN

  • Average price of a used car: $32,418
  • Difference from national average: $1,809 less
  • Average monthly payment: $684
  • Median individual income: $60,351

Indiana residents drive a lot: nearly 20,000 miles per year, compared to the national average of about 14,000 miles. If you’re willing to drive to Indianapolis or already live in the area, this is a good place to look for a used car.

10. Oklahoma City, OK

  • Average price of a used car: $32,443
  • Difference from national average: $1,784 less
  • Average monthly payment: $685
  • Median individual income: $55,362

Oklahoma City is not centrally located, so it may not be worth getting a deal. However, Oklahomans should take advantage of this. An average used car price of less than $33,000 is nothing to overlook.

Financing a car in the best places to buy a car

While these cities have decent prices on used cars, make sure it’s worth the time you spend driving and visiting dealerships before heading out. And compare car loan rates in advance so you know exactly how much you need to spend. You can get a better car loan rate by shopping around multiple lenders.