Most used car shoppers are looking for a deal, but as used car prices reach higher and higher, deals are becoming harder to find. Harder to find, that is, unless you shop the right used car classes.
Edmunds.com reports that prices for subcompact and compact cars that are five years or less old have dropped 2.8 and 2 percent in the first quarter, respectively, compared to the same period last year. Prices for midsize cars, minivans and affordable sports cars are also slightly lower than they were a year ago, with prices on those car classes down by 1.9 percent, on average. Those price drops buck the overall used car pricing trend, with Edmunds.com reporting that average used car prices are up 7.1 percent compared to last year.
“The recent surge in leases for small and midsize cars has spurred an avalanche of post-lease vehicles returning to the used car market, and with larger supply comes lower prices,” says Edmunds.com Director of Industry Analysis Jessica Caldwell. “There’s no sign that this surge in leasing will slow down any time soon, so shoppers can continue to expect prices of these cars to stay relatively low as they continue to flood the secondhand market in the coming months and years.”
Other factors behind the pricing trends include gas prices. As gas prices have stayed relatively low, consumer demand for larger cars and SUVs has increased, which drives up prices in those segments. Edmunds.com reports that used truck prices are up 10 percent on average compared to last year, while prices on used large SUVs are up 8.7 percent on average compared to last year. Because those types of vehicles are more expensive to begin with, the average used car price is up as well. Edmunds.com reports that the average price of a used car is now $18,088, which it says is an all-time high.
To find a used car that’s also a great deal, check out our used car rankings. You can also check out our Best Used Car Deals to see the used car financing deals offered by car companies. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.