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Used car prices rose about 33% in June: These 10 models gained the most value

"Shoppers interested in these vehicles should consider holding off on purchasing them."

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The value of used cars has skyrocketed this year, thanks to a global shortage of microchips that's making it tough to find brand-new rides. The average cost of a pre-owned car jumped 32.7%, or $7,583, from June 2020 to June 2021, according to data from iSeeCars.com. Certain models have appreciated even faster.

Researchers at iSeeCars compared more than 1 million sales of used cars (from model years 2016 to 2020) this June, to about 800,000 used-car sales (model years 2015 to 2019) in June 2020. They found that sports cars, luxury cars, and pickup trucks have gotten particularly expensive.

"Shoppers interested in these vehicles should consider holding off on purchasing them," wrote iSeeCars executive analyst Karl Brauer. On the other hand, those who own these cars and are willing to part with them "can take advantage of significantly higher trade-in values."

Here are the top 10 car models whose prices went up most in June.

1. Nissan Leaf

Average used car price in June 2021: $20,015
Price change from June 2020: 48% 

2. Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Average used car price in June 2021: $158,835
Price change from June 2020: 46%

3. Chevrolet Camaro

Average used car price in June 2021: $158,835
Price change from June 2020: 45%

4. Lincoln Navigator L

Average used car price in June 2021: $66,508
Price change from June 2020: 44%

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5. Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 

Average used car price in June 2021: $40,200
Price change from June 2020: 43%

6. Lincoln Navigator

Average used car price in June 2021: $65,236
Price change from June 2020: 42%

7. Audi A5

Average used car price in June 2021: $44,376
Price change from June 2020: 41%

8. GMC Sierra 1500

Average used car price in June 2021: $47,791
Price change from June 2020: 41%

9. Ford Mustang

Average used car price in June 2021: $36,476
Price change from June 2020: 41%

10. Chevrolet Spark

Average used car price in June 2021: $13,892
Price change from June 2020: 41%

What to know if you want to buy a used car

If you're shopping for a pre-owned vehicle, get ready for sticker shock.

"It's important to be realistic about prices today. The deal you got last time may not be attainable," says Ronald Montoya, senior consumer advice editor for Edmunds. Different financing options can help. Still, you're going to get less car for your money than you would have last year.

As such, it's wise to research what you can actually afford online before heading into a dealership. Don't just stick to your hometown dealerships, either: "Expand the search to a larger area. Look in other towns or counties," Montoya says.

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Flexibility on the car itself can help, too, says Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader. "The more specific you get with color choices and features, the harder it will be to find a car. Look for cars the dealer already has on the lot, and be flexible about the color, year, options, and interior."

Going a model year or two back, as Moody suggests, may sound like a dealbreaker. But that's not the case, as Scotty Reiss, founder of A Girl's Guide to Cars, recently told Grow. "I think the sweet spot [for a used car] is 3 to 4 years old, with 30,000 to 40,000 miles on it."

Assess the car's inner workings, too. Give it a test drive to ensure everything's working properly, and get it checked out by a mechanic you trust before buying, so you don't have to deal with costly repairs down the line. Go through the car's history to see if how many people have owned it, the number of accidents it's been in, and if there have been any recalls on it.

And even if you're on a budget, don't discount the possibility of buying a new car, Montoya says: "The way prices are today, it's not uncommon for a used car to be roughly the same price as a new one."

How to take advantage if you have a car to sell or trade-in

If you want to sell your current car, or trade it in for a newer model, now is a prime time to do so. Even with a much older car, you could end up getting more bang for your buck than before Covid hit: Edmunds reports that the average value of a car with 100,000 to 109,999 miles was $16,489 in June, compared to $12,626 in June 2020.

"Since the market is hot right now, be sure to check several sources before selling your car," says Matt DeLorenzo, senior managing editor for Kelley Blue Book. "You should have a sense of what your make or model is selling for to private parties, retail used, or certified pre-owned. It will establish a ballpark estimate of what you can expect in the market."

And if you're heading to the dealership to purchase a new model, don't be afraid to haggle on the value of your trade-in. "If you have a trade-in, that sweetens the deal," Ivan Drury, senior manager of insights at Edmunds, recently told CNBC. "The dealers want that trade-in."

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