Best used cars to trade in for the most cash

As the car market booms, you may own one of the best used cars to trade in and earn a premium right now.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2019 Chevrolet Corvette
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2019 Chevrolet Corvette

The market's hot for Corvettes right now.


Used cars fetch a premium these days, as automakers struggle to meet demand for new vehicles. It's the one upside for car buyers as they see dealerships pay a whole lot more for their trade-ins compared to this time last year. However, a new study from iSeeCars identifies a group of vehicles that hold much more value than the average vehicle trade-in. 

By looking at the used cars with the greatest price increases, the website notes owners will inevitably receive a higher trade-in value so dealers can stock them and sell them for the higher prices. If you own one, you're sitting in a pretty great spot if you want to sell it. Keep in mind, the vehicles listed come from the 2016-2020 model years and are ranked by the percentage not absolute price increase. Older vehicles aren't included in the averages.

Topping the list is, believe it or not, the Chevrolet Corvette, which also happens to be the fastest-selling new vehicle these days. The average price for a used Corvette increased by over $17,000 in the past year. Owners trading in their 'Vettes will receive a whole lot more cash in return. If Corvette owners also happen to have a bougie two-car solution with a Mercedes-Benz G-Class parked in the garage, they're doubly lucky because it comes in second place. The German brute's average price increased by $37,161 in the past year, which is quite a cushion of equity for owners.

Coming in third is the ($8,002 more than last year), fourth belongs to the GMC Sierra 1500 ($9,418 more) and the top five ends with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class ($16,198 more). Pickup trucks and sports cars really dominate the list in a big way. For the former, super tight inventory makes used models far more valuable. For the latter, buyers are willing to pay more for a sports car since their ideal combination is likely harder to find. Sports cars are typically aspirational vehicles too, which may be why their values surged after pandemic-related lockdowns eased up.

The one real outlier on the list is the humble Mitsubishi Mirage. Prices for these cars increased by $2,313 on average year-over-year. Why? They're inexpensive, and for buyers on a budget, they're attractive options, especially with low miles. Lower miles always equals higher prices. Check out the full list of cars below, but remember, your mileage may vary when it comes time for a used car appraisal. Take this study as more of a big-picture look at the market right now. On average, car buyers trading in their vehicles are receiving 128% more cash, up $3,087 to $5,502.

Top 10 cars with largest price increases

RankUsed vehicleAverage price (April 2021)$ price change from April 2020YoY % price change
1 Chevrolet Corvette$68,804 $17,432 33.9%
2 Mercedes-Benz G-Class$148,937 $37,161 33.2%
3 Ram 1500$35,798 $8,002 28.8%
4 GMC Sierra 1500$42,347 $9,418 28.6%
5 Mercedes-Benz S-Class$74,326 $16,198 27.9%
6 Chevrolet Silverado 1500$37,324 $7,960 27.1%
7 Chevrolet Camaro$31,220 $6,582 26.7%
8 Toyota Tundra$40,470 $8,356 26%
9 Mitsubishi Mirage$11,242 $2,313 25.9%
10 Land Rover Range Rover Sport$59,579 $11,969 25.1%

The best cars to buy used rather than new

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