Used Car Prices Rise, But Is Cash For Clunkers To Blame?
Edmunds is tracking an $1,800 average increase in the price of used cars, as new-car sales have faltered with the shaky economy. But the increase in prices isn’t solely due to Americans tightening their belts and buying used instead of new. The biggest price increases by nameplate appear to be for large SUVs and vans like the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Suburban, Dodge Grand Caravan, BMW X5 and Acura MDX. Edmunds senior analyst Joe Spina explains
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. The program also eliminated inventory of older vehicles that were traded and then scrapped… Now, those who need trucks and large SUVs are buying them and in many cases are turning to used vehicles as a way to save money. Prices are high because this demand comes at a time when inventory is low as a result of the current shortage of lease returns and trade-ins for vehicles of this type.
Edmunds’ “Large SUV” segment shows prices up by nearly $7k per vehicle (over July 2009), compared to increases of less than $500 per vehicle for midsize and compact cars over the same period. Gas prices, meanwhile, are nearly unchanged from July of last year. Clearly something is affecting the price of used SUVs… if it’s not Cash-For-Clunkers, what is it?