PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Car shoppers can generally save a lot by choosing to buy a used car instead of driving a new one off the lot – that is if you don’t live in Portland.

While purchasing a used vehicle has traditionally saved buyers thousands, a new iSeeCars study showed the cost of used cars has increased by almost 30% in Portland. 

“After analyzing 1.8 million used car sales in March, iSeeCars found that used car prices increased 29.3% or $7,602 in Portland over last year,” said the automotive research firm. 

According to the April 26 report, while the price of used cars fell nationally in March, the ongoing microchip shortage, high gas prices, and increased demand for affordable and fuel-efficient vehicles have kept the cost of used cars well above last year’s sticker prices.

Despite this month’s drop in used car prices from the 35.0% year-over-year increase seen in February, the study showed the cost of secondhand cars rose in March by an average of 30.4%, or $8,032 from last year. 

The study’s analysts suggested that, like the rise in pump prices, the uptick in prices for used vehicles is highly impacted by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. 

“After coming down for the second consecutive month, used car prices remain elevated due to lingering supply constraints, and could rise again due to geopolitical factors as Russia is a key supplier of materials used to make car parts and microchips,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “We are also seeing a significant increase in demand for used hybrid and electric vehicles as a result of high gas prices, with the cost of hybrids increasing by 40.5 percent and electric cars increasing by 36.3 percent compared to last year.”

While the report suggests waiting to purchase a used car if you live in Portland or another market where costs have spiked, researchers also acknowledged that not all models are created equal, and compiled a list of vehicles that may be best to avoid. 

Here is the iSeeCars list of cars with the highest price increases in Portland this year: 

Used Cars with the Greatest Price Increases in March in Portland (Courtesy: iSeeCars)

“New car inventory is expected to improve beginning in the second half of 2022, which will also create more used car inventory as buyers trade in their old cars,” the study stated. “However, the longer you can wait the better, as there is a lot of pent-up demand in both the new and used car marketplace. Higher prices and reduced inventory on dealer lots are expected to persist well into next year.”

Beyond suggesting car shoppers wait to purchase, the automotive research firm provided a list of recommendations for Portlanders and other residents who still wish to purchase a vehicle soon.

The list of tips includes comparing new and used car prices, considering buying out of a current lease, tracking market trends to get the most out of a vehicle trade-in, and being as flexible as possible.

To view the full iSeeCars study, click here.