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Prices of Used Pickups, SUVs and Mini Vans Surge 25%

November 5, 2009

Used Car PricesThe best way to save money when buying a car is to buy a 3-4 year old used car instead of buying brand new. This usually saves you about 50% on the price (of course you end up with a used car instead of new, but the savings are dramatic).

Lately, used car prices have been heading higher, especially for 3 year old pickup trucks, mid-sized SUVs, and Mini vans. This makes it less attractive to buy used, although the savings are still huge when you compare to buying brand new.

According to Edmunds.com, the average price of a 3 year old Mini Van has increased a whopping 27% compared to a year ago. The price of a 3 year old full-size Pickup has increased 26% while mid-sized SUVs have increased 25%.

The reason for the price increase is simple supply and demand issues. Many car makers cut back on leasing in recent years so there are less off-lease vehicles available. Meanwhile, demand for used cars has gone up as car shoppers look for more affordable options.

Overall, 3 year old car prices have gone up 16% compared to the year ago period. The only acception are mid-size cars which fell in price by 1.6%.

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My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan


Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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