Used Car Prices at Record Highs
The combination of low supply and increased demand is the main culprit, with Japan's parts shortages adding fuel to the fire.
The biggest price increases are on hybrids, compacts and subcompacts thanks to rising fuel costs.
If you're in the market to sell or trade-in your used car, then it's all good - at least until August.
At that point gas prices are expected to drop back to normal levels.
Keep in mind that if you leased a car within the last 3 years and the lease is coming to an end soon, your vehicle is probably worth more than the buyout price.
You could potentially make several thousand dollars by "flipping" it - essentially buying it, then reselling it right away. (See: How to Profit from an End of Lease Buyout.
Though used car prices are high, you'll still get a better deal than buying new as long as the vehicle is at least 2 years old.
Analysts expect used car prices to start heading lower in October.
That's when the new car market will likely rebound from Japan's troubles, making the used car market soft and thus giving you a better deal.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid