Alert: Used Car Prices At 16-Year High image

Used-car prices across the nation are at the highest average in 16 years. Dealers are paying an average of $11,660 for a used car or truck, up almost 30 percent since December 2008, according to Associated Press research.

“Right now a car is just outrageous. They are talking $7,000, $8,000, sometimes $10,000 for a used car that’s maybe 10 years old now,” said Reyes.

Prices on used vehicles in the U.S. are now at their highest since 1995.

The run-up in prices for used cars has been so dramatic that it almost doesn’t make sense to buy them anymore, says David Whiston, an auto analyst for Morningstar. That’s probably a good indication that prices are at or near a peak.
Used-car sales and prices typically peak in March. This year, the market will peak in June, predicted Banks. In response to demand, dealers have been purchasing used fuel-efficient vehicles at auction and even from private sales.
Adding to the demand side of the equation are the many parents looking to buy used cars as graduation gifts for their children. Spanos said his dealership has been selling a car a day on average for the past month for graduation and likely will continue doing so through early July.