Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Top Dollar for My 4Runner

This is what happens when you have a bunch of academics and lifelong bureaucrats running things.


Car buyers on average paid $1,800 more for a used vehicle in July than they paid a year ago at this time, according to data. That's a 10.3 percent increase, bringing the average cost of a 3-year-old vehicle to $19,248. The price of a Cadillac Escalade spiked nearly 36 percent. "A lack of confidence in the economy is driving more people to used cars, putting upward pricing pressure on a limited supply of vehicles," said Joe Spina, a senior analyst for Edmunds.

There's a tricky aspect to this analysis, because last summer was marked by a used-car buying frenzy spawned by the Cash for Clunkers program. Spina said the effects of that program are hard to isolate precisely. "So many economic factors affect automobile sales and prices. It's believed that the program delayed purchases prior to the program and also pulled sales forward while in place," he said. "The program also eliminated inventory of older vehicles that were traded and then scrapped." After the jump, take a look at the vehicles whose prices moved the most this July. The model years have been averaged. You can also get some advice on how to proceed in a (relatively) pricey used-car market.

Top five price gainers (July 2010 vs. July 2009):
- Cadillac Escalade: +35.6%
- Chevrolet Suburban: +34.2%
- Dodge Grand Caravan: +34.0%
- BMW X5: +33.0%
- Acura MDX: +29.2%

Of course, those aren't the cars being traded in last year since they're all worth more than the $4000 credit. However, it's no coincidence that they're all mid to large sized SUVs. Removing thousands of otherwise working used vehicles in one segment is bound to drive up prices.

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