Car Lot Finance

Used Vehicle Prices on the Decline

Now is the time to buy, experts say, while used vehicle prices are low. Used vehicle prices have been easing since they hit record highs immediately following the economic recession a few years ago. Consumers are now turning to used vehicles as a cheap alternative to buying a new car.


In April 2013, used vehicle prices fell an average of 4.5 percent at the wholesale level from April of last year. In the last three years, prices have peaked during spring, but this year, that pattern changed. Mini-vans and SUVs had the greatest price decline at an average of 10 percent the wholesale price, with overall cars following at 6.6 percent. The only vehicles that are seeking price increases are those used for work and construction. For example, pick-up truck prices rose 3.3 percent and full-size vans rose 8.1 percent.


Last summer, the gap between new and used vehicle prices was very low, motivating vehicle-purchasing consumers to buy new to ensure they would get more longevity for their money. Now that we are coming out of the economic recession, we are seeing an increase in retail and recreational spending. Consumers have more money and they are now more financially capable of purchasing the new cars they’ve had their eyes on. More and more buyers are trading in their old cars for newer ones.


These events are leaving dealers with an overabundance of used cars to sell. As a result, prices are being lowered to get these trade-ins off the lot. However, many of these trade-ins were being dragged through the recession years by owners who kept maintenance to the bare minimum, so they are more difficult to sell. Modern buyers are aware of this and tend to be more cautious when purchasing used vehicles.


Because of this, new cars are currently more in demand than used ones, so when shopping for used cars, it’s a buyer’s market. Dealers are so overwhelmed with trade-ins they aren’t able to sell that they are sending some of these cars off to auction.


Newer trade-ins are the most sought after, but because of the recession, most dealers are receiving trade-ins with the average age of 6.5 years old. To help increase sales, dealers are starting to provide warrantees with their used vehicles, calling them “certified used cars.” This is helping customers feel more secure about buying a car that might be a little older, and possibly less durable, than they wanted. In addition to warrantees, many dealers are also offering additional incentives for used car buyers. To begin your search for the best used cars in Charlotte NC. Still, experts advise shoppers to take their time and look at their options as used vehicle prices continue on the path of steady decline.