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Used Car Prices up 8.5% Since Last Year

October 28, 2010

Used CarsUsed car prices are rising, and so is the number of people buying them.

The average price paid in the U.S. for a used three-year-old vehicle was up nearly $1,500 - an 8.5% increase from a year ago.

This is good news for those selling or trading in, but not for buyers who will have to pay higher prices.

Tight supply is one factor driving up used car prices. Automakers are responding by emphasizing their certified pre-owned car (CPO) programs.

CPO cars sell for a higher price, typically $1,000 more, because they are pre-inspected and carry an extended factory warranty.

As the price of used cars has climbed, and incentives remain strong on new cars, in some cases new cars are cheaper to buy than their one-year-old counterparts.

Savvy shoppers who do their homework can walk away with great deals and still get that "new car" smell.

See the lowest prices on a vehicle in your area (plus see the actual incentives you qualify for)
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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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