McLEAN, Va. — After three years of dramatic growth, the average price of used cars and light trucks will rise a modest 1 percent to almost $14,500, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Used Car Guide predicts in its latest special report.
This is part of a continuing trend of decreased prices for used vehicles. During the two-year period from 2009 to 2011, the average price of used vehicles up to 8-years-old increased by 19.7%, or $2,356. But from 2010 to 2011, the average price increased 7.6%.
“This year, used-vehicle price growth hasn’t been as robust as the past few years, in part because traditional new-vehicle buyers who purchased used vehicles during the recent economic downturn are returning to the new-vehicle market,” said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst with the NADA Used Car Guide.
New-vehicle sales have increased 14.5% year-to-date through September, according to Ward’s Auto.
“There is still pent-up demand potential for consumers who typically purchase used vehicles either because of preference or financial reasons, but it’s not enough to counter the shift in preference of new-vehicle intenders,” Banks added. “The gradual shift in preference back to the new-vehicle market has been a primary factor behind the slight increase in used-vehicle prices this year.”
Although used-vehicle prices are leveling off, they will still finish the year at a historically high level.
The report, NADA Used Vehicle Price Forecast: Winter/Spring 2012-2013, was released today.