Edmunds: Used Car Prices Are Softening


Used car prices have hit their low­est lev­els in four years, accord­ing to Edmunds.com, with soft­er prices seen as a good sign for used car buy­ers.

Find out more about what Edmunds.com’s Joe Spina has to say.

Used car prices have hit their low­est lev­els in four years, says Edmunds.com, the pre­mier resource for car shop­ping and auto­mo­tive infor­ma­tion. The data sug­gests that the used car mar­ket is final­ly soft­en­ing after years of noto­ri­ous­ly ele­vat­ed prices.

Accord­ing to Edmunds.com’s Used Car Mar­ket Quar­ter­ly Report, the aver­age used car sold by fran­chise deal­ers in the third quar­ter of 2013 was $15,617. The aver­age price was 2.8 per­cent low­er than in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter, and 0.9 per­cent low­er than in the third quar­ter of 2012. The last time used car prices ran so low was in the third quar­ter of 2009, when the aver­age car sold at a fran­chise deal­er­ship was $14,808.

“Now that the new car mar­ket has hit its stride, buy­ers are no longer drawn to used cars the way they have been in recent years,” says Edmunds.com’s Direc­tor of Used Car Analy­sis Joe Spina. “Used car prices will like­ly con­tin­ue to decline in the com­ing months sim­ply because there will be more of these vehi­cles sit­ting on deal­er lots.”

While soft­er prices are a good sign for used car buy­ers, Edmunds.com points out that prices still are rel­a­tive­ly high­er than they were before the reces­sion. Aver­age used car prices crossed the $15,000 thresh­old for the first time at the end of 2009, and have remained above that lev­el ever since. At their peak, used car prices aver­aged $16,473 in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2011.

Shop­pers look­ing to score the best deal on a used car may want to con­sid­er brands such as Vol­vo, GMC and Chevro­let; vehi­cles pro­duced by those three automak­ers sat on used deal­er lots longer than any oth­er brand in the third quar­ter. At the oth­er end of the spec­trum, Japan­ese brands such as Hon­da, Toy­ota and Lexus were in the most demand in the third quar­ter — and there­fore like­ly car­ried the most ele­vat­ed prices.





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