Right Time To Buy An SUV? It Sure Is!


Oh I know many of you saw that headline and said, "Toyota Phil has lost it! Gas is averaging $4.06 a gallon and he says NOW is the time to buy? What an idiot!"

Relax. I haven't lost it. I agree that for many people (soccer moms, the guy putzing around the suburbs, etc) driving a gas guzzling SUV makes no sense.

But there is a market out there of people who truly need the utility and capability an SUV offers. And right now those people are salivating at the possibilities. As well they should be.

Right now the Kelley Blue Book prices of used SUVs have plunged more than $2,500. Some are down more than $3,500. It's a buyers market for those who need/want an SUV. And the best part for those people is that prices may go even lower. Think of all those people who got a 3 year lease back in 2005 (the good old days when gas was reasonable) who are due to turn in their SUVs. As they do that, the finance companies will unload the gas guzzlers for a song. Bottom line. The market will be primed with big rigs at very low prices.

That's great news for those who need an SUV. Contractors, people in specialty trades, those who live in rural areas where the roads can get dicey at times. These are the people who should be driving an SUV. But over the last 15 years, the sport utility has become the vehicle of choice for suburbanites, yuppies, soccer moms who liked the utility, ride, styling of an SUV. Those people are now choking on their gas payments.

For you folks, relief is coming. There are more and more fuel efficient crossover utility vehicles on the way. And some of you will get re-acquainted with driving a car every day.

As for you hard core SUV drivers. You may not love the mileage you get, but you do love your sport ute. This is one of those rare periods where you have a chance to trade-in or upgrade and wind up getting a great deal.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com