Used Car Prices Change Again—Should You Buy New?

July 30th, 2013
1929 Duesenberg

The 1929 Duesenberg: Holding its value just fine!

Unless you’re in possession of a 1929 Duesenberg, there’s bad news for sellers of used cars.

On the other hand, if you’re a regular Joe in the market to buy a used car, there’s plenty of good news to go around. There’s also good and bad news for new-car buyers, too.

Confused?

Just keep reading, and all will become clear!

First, the Duesenberg:

This weekend at the Concourse d’ Elegance of America at St. John’s, in Plymouth, Mich., a 1929 Duesenberg sold for $682,000. It was one of 69 cars auctioned at the event for a total of over $7.5 million. Needless to say, the values of collectible vehicles seem to be chugging along just fine, and happy owners are taking advantage of that fact.

Values of the typical used car in America, though, are on a downward slope, while sales of new cars continue to rise. Whether you’re buying or selling, here’s what you need to know. If you are:

Buying a used car

Good news! Used car prices have been falling since 2011, and they’re expected to decline gradually for the remainder of this year. The Detroit News says,

The average price for a used car at auction was $11,031 in June, down 6 percent from its peak in May 2011.

That means lower prices on many used cars, from private party sellers and from used car dealers!

Selling a used car

Bad news. Unless you have a collectible, the price you’ll get for your used car might be lower than you’d like. There is a silver lining: The car you replace it with should be less expensive than you think. Of course, keep up to date on where the great deals are with the CarGurus used listings.

Buying a new car

Good news! And bad news. Naturally, the price you’ll pay for a new car is largely impacted by the demand for the car you want. With sales up this year over last, you could find some popular models commanding MSRP or higher. The good news is interest rates are low, terms for new cars are generous, and dealers are anxious to build some sales momentum. The makings for an affordable new car are certainly there!

Selling a new car

Good news for car dealers! Buyers are out there in droves and willing to spend their money on a brand new vehicle. Even better, many will have a vehicle to trade, since they may not want to deal with the hassle of selling on their own given the currently low used prices.

Now is a great time to buy a used car. Have you had your eye on one?

-tgriffith

Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

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  1. Randy
    August 4th, 2013 at 09:42 | #1

    Remember that used car prices were artificially high because of the recession that made it so hard for new car buyers to get credit. Now that the situation has eased, new car sales are exploding, and trade ins are much older and higher mileage that usual, both factors that hit the used market. New cars are much higher priced now than when the recession started, but most people drive a car longer and buying new makes a lot of sense.

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