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Selling a Used Car: The Fastest and Slowest Selling Used Cars

Selling a used car often includes a heaping amount of angst. There are lots of reasons for getting rid of a used vehicle. Maybe it’s to make room for something else, to drum up some needed cash, streamline the household fleet or one of any number of other reasons. But, there is always a reason. Whatever that reason might be is what typically drives the apprehension. The longer the vehicle remains unsold, the greater the angst.

Here’s the ugly truth: Some vehicles just take longer to sell. In a recent study, looked at the details of more than 4 million used car sales of 2015 through 2017 model-year vehicles sold during the first seven months of 2018. What the study shows is that the average number of days between the time a used vehicle is first listed and it finally sells depends on the vehicle model, whether the carmaker is domestic or foreign and the type of vehicle: sedan, SUV, pickup truck, hybrid and so forth.

The research discovered that the average length of time between listing and selling for all vehicles combined was 46.4 days. In studying the results, though, analysts determined that some vehicles simply sell faster than others. They were able to make some broad conclusions about which vehicles turned faster and which turned slower when selling a used car.


If you want to beat the 46.4-day average, your best bet is selling an alternative-fuel (electric or hybrid/electric) car. In fact, the top five fastest-selling cars in the study were either fully electric or hybrid. The Toyota Prius C is more likely to turn quickly with a days-on-market (DOM) average of 29.6. The Tesla Model S is second with an average DOM of 32.4. One reason for alternative-fuel vehicles being such popular used cars is the premium the original owner must pay for the technology. Buying used makes the technology package more affordable.

Of the top 10 fastest-selling used cars, all but one is from foreign automakers. The single domestic among the fastest-selling cars is the electric Chevrolet Volt with an average DOM of 34.3.


More represented on the slowest-selling list are domestic brands. Six of the slowest-selling vehicles are domestics. Most of the vehicles on the slowest list are plagued with high price tags even used. Such is the case with the slowest of the slow: the Porsche Cayenne with a DOM averaging 67.8. Also on the slowest list are other high-ticket vehicles, like the Porsche 911, the Land Rover Discovery Sport, the Cadillac XT5 and the Lincoln MKX.

SUVs and pickup trucks both have longer DOMs than the market in general. The average DOM for SUVs is 47.9 days, while pickup trucks average 50.8 days. The Honda Ridgeline is the fastest turning pickup with an average DOM of 39.3. The fastest-selling SUV is the Toyota RAV4 with a DOM averaging 36.6 days. Ford has more vehicles (four Fords/Lincolns) on the 10-slowest list than any other brand.

Top 10 Fastest Selling

  1. Toyota Prius C 29.6

  2. Tesla Model S 32.4

  3. BMW i3 33.4

  4. Toyota Prius 33.4

  5. Chevrolet Volt 34.3

  6. Volkswagen Golf R 34.4

  7. Honda Civic 34.7

  8. Toyota Corolla 34.9

  9. Honda Accord 35.5

  10. Hyundai Veloster Turbo 36.0

Top 10 Slowest Selling

  1. Porsche Cayenne 67.8

  2. Buick Regal 67.6

  3. Buick LaCrosse 67.5

  4. Porsche 911 67.5

  5. Land Rover Discovery Sport 66.1

  6. Ford Flex 64.3

  7. Cadillac XT5 64.2

  8. Mazda CX-9 62.9

  9. Ford Taurus 62.2

  10. Lincoln MKX 62.2

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