If you’re in the market for a used car, don’t expect to get a fantastic deal. Used car prices are up and will continue to rise in 2012, thanks to an increase in demand and decreased supply.
"Consumers shopping for either a new or used vehicle will benefit this year from higher trade-in values along with loosening credit," Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Used Car Guide, said at the NADA Convention in Las Vegas over the weekend. "For dealers, reliance on customer trade-ins will increase as they strive to meet the challenges of growing demand in a supply-constrained market."
This is good news if you’re shopping for a new car and want to trade in your used car, or if you want to sell your car. You’ll be able to command a higher price for your vehicle, as dealers are looking to boost their used car inventory.
On the downside, if you’re shopping for a used car, expect to pay more. According to the NADA Used Car Guide, used car prices “will increase by 1.8 percent by the end of the year, peaking in April and May.”
The average price buyers can expect to pay for a used car in 2012 is $11,850, while used light truck buyers can expect to pay $19,050, MSNBC reports. NADA says that increased demand for fuel-efficient used cars, especially compact and midsize cars, will also cause their prices to go up by 2.7 and 2.1 percent by the end of 2012, respectively. If you’re shopping for a used large SUV, you can expect price increases of 1.4 percent in 2012.