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Used Car Prices Keep Sliding, but for How Long?

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The great run-up in used car prices we’ve seen over the last years is over.

It has been for some time.

The latest numbers on wholesale prices the dealers are paying shows not only how far prices have dropped, but also raises the questions of how much further they could slide.

Few are predicting a major drop off from here, but if you’re holding out hope that used car prices will continue pulling back that trend is working in your favor.

According to the wholesale auto auction firm Adesa, here are the average prices for September and how much they have dropped in the last year.

Used Car Prices

Sept. ’12
1 year change
Cars $8,680 - $187
Trucks $9,475 - $347
SUV’s $12,848 - $469
Source: Adesa

The change in wholesale prices may not seem like a lot, but they reflect a steady decline. (Read More: Used Car Prices Starting to Fall.)

One that many believe will continue as the pent up demand in the market continues to drive owners of seven, nine, even 10 year old cars and trucks to upgrade with a new vehicle instead of a used one. The gap in pricing between new and used remains small enough that many buyers looking for an upgrade are deciding to buy new instead of going with a three or four year old used model. And as financing has expanded to include more buyers with subprime and deep subprime buyers, many who used to be boxed out of the new car market are now finding more options. (Read More: Chinese Second-Hand Car Market Revs Up.)

In other words, they no longer are restricted just to the used car market.


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