Used car prices hit a record high last month, and they are still rising.
Kelly Blue Book says the biggest increases are for fuel-efficient cars and small SUVs, where prices are up as much as 20 percent since January.
In the first quarter the average price for cars with engines between two and three litres increased 8.3% from the same period last year.
Chief Operating Officer Todd Hunter says an increase of 2.7% in vehicles larger than three litres was particularly unexpected because of high fuel prices.
Prices of fuel-efficient cars like hybrids, compacts and subcompacts have risen especially fast due to rising fuel costs.
For example, a 2006 Nissan Murano, a midsized crossover SUV loaded with options such leather seats and a sunroof with about 70,000 miles, would go for about $14,000 at auction today, Ugurlu said. That price, he said should be about $10,000 under normal market conditions.
The used-car price index stands at 126.6 for April, up from 124.2 in March. The previous record was set last January at 124.9. The index was seated in January, 1995, when the price was set at 100.
For dealers, getting hold of good used cars is an increasing challenge. “It’s tougher to find cars for people who are ready to buy than a year ago,” says Jerry Seiner, who hasGeneral Motors, Kia and Nissan dealerships in the Salt Lake City area.
“Wholesale used vehicle prices are also now being supported by the new-vehicle market’s tight inventories, steady demand and higher net transaction prices,” Manheim is quoted as saying by the News.