Report: Top-selling used EVs cost up to $5,000 less than last year

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The average price of the most popular used EVs has dropped by up to $5,000 compared to last year, according to retailer CarMax.

Sales data from September 1, 2023 to February 29, 2024, showed that the top EVs at CarMax were the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, and Nissan Leaf. They were also the top-sellers in a previous CarMax report published in 2023, but since then average prices for all three have dropped. The current report showed average prices of $34,045 for the Model 3, $43,896 for the Model Y, and $18,465 for the Leaf

Overall, among the list of top-sellers, average prices are $3,000 to $5,000 less than last year, according to CarMax.

2020 Tesla Model 3

Fewer EVs from luxury brands were in the top 10 sellers this time around as well, with only four luxury models represented compared to six before. That appears to have helped lower the ceiling on used EV prices.

Those prices ranged from $22,000 to $72,000 last year, but while the lower number is the same, the upper end was $46,000 this time. CarMax partly attributes that to the elimination of the Tesla Model X from the list and lower average prices for the Model S, which is ranked ninth on this year’s list. The only non-Tesla luxury car to make the top 10 this year was the sixth-place Audi e-tron.

And it’s not that EV interest is lagging. The report also showed a steady increase in monthly search volume on the CarMax website for electric models. EV search volume increased 177% from January 2021 to February 2024, according to the report.

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

New and used EV prices soared in 2020 and 2021, and by midyear 2022 some were warning that it might soon collapse without more affordable options.

This continues to be an entirely different set of market dynamics as just two years ago. About 16 months ago, in October 2022, several analysts said that prices had peaked and the market had started to stabilize. About six months after that, the Model 3 started to nosedive in its used values and the rest of the Tesla lineup and EV market followed some months later.

While the prices are quite different, some of the trade-in patterns CarMax noted with last year’s report have continued. The Honda Civic and Toyota Tacoma were once again the most popular trade-ins for a Model 3, for example.

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