By on December 9, 2021

Used-vehicle prices set another record last month thanks to elevated demand and suppressed production of new cars. Depending on who you ask, the typical transaction fee for a secondhand automobile rose nearly 50 percent in November vs the same period in 2020. While the pandemic had meaningfully suppressed demand during that time, that’s still a staggering increase over any 12-month period.

Sharing Cox Automotive’s Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, Automotive News nailed down the annual difference to a 44-percent increase. This also represents the November pricing index swelling by 3.9 percent against October, which is noteworthy in itself. But what does that look like in dollars? 

Data from iSeeCars has November 2021’s used-vehicle pricing by 27.9 percent against November 2020. The outlet estimated that tacked on a $6,939 premium to the typical automotive transaction.

“Used car prices had drifted down, slightly, since they peaked in June, but they are back on the rise again, with the average used vehicle priced nearly over $7,000 above where it was last November,” explained Karl Brauer, iSeeCars’ executive analyst. “With microchip shortage–related plant shutdowns persisting throughout the year, automakers have not kept pace with pent-up demand and lingering supply constraints that are expected to continue well into 2022.”

Considering that iSeeCars’ assessment of the price increase was positively tame compared the summary provided by Cox Automotive, there’s a chance some consumers are being forced to shell out the kind of dough that would have previously afforded them a second vehicle. On the upside, Cox’s Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke believes we’ve finally hit peak automotive pricing.

“In the weekly numbers, we’ve already seen moderation over the last couple of weeks, which is exactly what we were anticipating,” Smoke said. “So we think November is the peak for the year. Prices are probably going to stay about where they are — or the index is going to stay about where it is — through the end of the year.”

We wouldn’t assume anything at this juncture. Everyone thought the summer of 2021 was as bad as things could possibly get and now we’re looking at even steeper pricing going into the winter.

From AN:

New-vehicle inventory problems continued to plague dealers, forcing them to spend more money to obtain used-vehicle supplies for their lots. This pushed wholesale prices to new heights across all segments in November, according to Alex Yurchenko, chief data science officer at Black Book.

“Cars of all sizes and vans had the largest increases as used and new inventory in those segments declined to much lower levels compared to other segments of the market,” Yurchenko said in a news release.

Yurchenko said Black Book expects used-vehicle prices to increase again in December but at a much lower rate because the volume of new-vehicle inventory is beginning to level off and consumer demand is softening as a result of record-breaking used prices at retail.

Due to pricing that can only be described as absolutely ridiculous, used car sales have been on the decline since July. Total used-vehicle sales were down 10 percent (year over year in October) in the United States, bringing the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of sales to 35.8 million. That’s down from 39.9 million in October 2021, though relatively flat compared to September’s 35.8 million SAAR. While it’s still a little early to determine Novembers figures, Wards Auto estimated sales to drop against the previous month.

On a long enough timeline, that should convince retailers to slash prices. But they haven’t done so yet and inventories are allegedly so strained that there may not be any reason for them to until deep into 2022. Fortunately, today’s inventories haven’t been universally agreed upon. Despite loads of talk about how the crippled supply chains have left automakers without the ability to produce, Cox has the retail used-vehicle supply sitting at 49 days against normal 44 day supply. Meanwhile, wholesale inventories were estimated to be at 29 days whereas a normal supply would be 23 days. Though what constitutes normal supply is relative — as Cox is using lower modern averages, rather than the what would have been typical just a few years ago.

[Image: David Touchtone/Shutterstock]

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89 Comments on “Used Vehicle Pricing Sets Another Record High...”


  • avatar
    redapple

    My brother was at the Ram dealer yesterday. He LOVES the loaded air ride jobbie. Sticker had additional dealer mark up – $5000.

    Wrong time to buy any car. Pick ups usually have $10,000. on the hood. WAIT a year or 2 and save the $15,000.

    Jeez.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “He LOVES the loaded air ride jobbie.”

      If he lives in a region that gets cold weather he should stay far far away from any “air ride” Ram. They have a habit of freezing up resulting in zero suspension travel. I know a few fellows who’ve had problems. Ram won’t warranty it. They will say, “we put it in the shop and couldn’t find anything wrong”. He was told to park it in a heated garage.

    • 0 avatar
      tomLU86

      The in 12-24 months, good chance the mark-ups on new cars will have evaporated.

      But there’s an even better chance the MSRPs on new cars will rise, especially trucks and popular CUVs.

      The window stickers on cars jumped 30-40% between 1978 and 1980.

      So, if you need a car and find a decent one, you may as well get it, especially if you can finance it yourself now from your credit union or a lender with low interest (because the unnaturally low interest rates we’ve had will be a thing of the past).

      If you have an extra car that is worth over $10k, now may be a good time to sell, because people typically have to borrow for that kind of money, and now interest rates are still low.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        I’m have to agree with tom. Prices will eventually drop, but not to a level anywhere near what they were before.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        Another economic feature I bet we go back to is 5-10 year old muscle cars for dirt cheap, as was the case during this era also. Instead of $900 1970 GTOs, we’ll have $9,000 Charger Hellcats.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I’ll be pretty surprised if I can buy an unwrecked 2021 GT500 for $9,000 in 7 years.

        • 0 avatar
          MoDo

          You will never find a $9000 hellcat unless its a total write off. You can barely (if even) find a 2006 charger SRT8 for that with 200,000 miles. 70 GTO’s were $3100 new and were used as cars, most cats are babied.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            @MoDo – I’ll take my position for 5 LOL! Believe it or not, things change. I agree that Now you can’t get one for that but I’m talking about the future based on current trends and historical references. If you own one, I may consider selling it for other investments. You heard it here 1st.

        • 0 avatar
          PotLizard

          To be fair, $900 1970 GTOs may not be so crazy either. The prices of the original (60s-70s) muscle cars are going to drop off a cliff in the next 10-15 years as the Baby Boomers first stop driving, then die off altogether. Compared to the Boomers, Gen X isn’t nearly as enamored with cars, and Millennials and Gen Z are even less so. And in 20 years, I don’t think we’ll see a bunch of Millennials in Hawaiian shirts at Barrett-Jackson, trying to outbid each other on a 2019 Challenger Hellcat.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    In part because of this, I will sadly soon have to resign my post as Pope of the Church of 3800, probably step back to Pope Emeritus.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      @28,

      How much of the used vehicle price increase is pure pricing (i.e., Vehicle A in Trim B with C miles is selling for D’ in December 2021 but sold for D in December 2020), and how much is:
      – Lower mileage as would-be new car buyers buy used instead [also people driving less and accumulating fewer miles before selling]
      – Nicer vehicles and nicer trims as some of the Haves who would’ve bought new buy used cars instead
      – Some cheaper models (and trims) eliminated by OEMs in the past few years [so no longer present in this ‘batch’ of used vehicles]

      (Phrased differently, how much is Model/Trim/Option Mix – and Mileage – vs. pure Pricing.)

      I don’t have access to the Automotive News article. Manheim attempts to adjust for some of this?:
      https://publish.manheim.com/content/dam/consulting/Used-Vehicle-Summary-Methodology.pdf

      But I’m still curious – some of the reported increases seem crazy otherwise.

      Are you seeing increases that large for comparable inventory? Feel free to tell me to get lost. :-)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Nearly all of my old contacts are retired or literally passed on, but I was chatting with an indy in late March about all of this. He told me everyone was hurting because there was no inventory, and shops were knowingly paying too much to buy to simply have something on the lot to sell. The same gentleman didn’t want Katrina II (my Pontiac) for 5 when I offered and I have it tentatively sold for 5,5 to a nice younger kid who reminds me of me at that age (should have beat him up more but I didn’t want to be greedy).

        That being said, I think its a combination of inflation which itself is partly a vote of no confidence in the Fed/US gov’t. That “voting with your feet” has had a domino effect where people are NOT trading because the pricing isn’t in line with reality, and mid 2020 to now production is down I think two million units or so (something like 15m to 2019’s 17m).

        That being said I will try to give a succent answer to your question:

        “Lower mileage as would-be new car buyers buy used instead [also people driving less and accumulating fewer miles before selling]”

        I don’t think this is having an effect, for several years now buying new-used was a fool’s errand – I myself concluded as such with my first and only new car purchase in 2018. What *is* having an effect is lessees are buying their cars out instead of leasing new ones. So now a whole glut of leases are not being remarketed and this is after it already wasn’t fiscally wise to purchase new-used as it had been for decades.

        “Nicer vehicles and nicer trims as some of the Haves who would’ve bought new buy used cars instead”

        If this is happening it is a very small factor for reasons stated above.

        “Some cheaper models (and trims) eliminated by OEMs in the past few years [so no longer present in this ‘batch’ of used vehicles]”

        Possibly, but wholesale wise the loaded models only did about 10% above base. So if in insane truck world there aren’t enough base Silverados but a ton of LTZs (because of how they were ordered), yes that additional options cost may play into vehicle inflation more than realized.

        “Phrased differently, how much is Model/Trim/Option Mix – and Mileage – vs. pure Pricing”

        Condition, condition, condition – that was drilled into my head over and over by pretty much everyone. In my old auction sheets I highlighted 2 MY04 Chrysler 300Ms that sold in a 2006 Wednesday Sale, and my guess is one ran early in and different lane than the other because one has 20K and the other 60 but they sold within $100 of each other (something like 12,8 and 12,7). Now anything with lower miles is netting more profit (plus balance of factory warranty), but assuming two different shops they are both putting similar money on it (prob 14,9 or 15,9 at the time, maybe more). But I would venture to guess both were very clean and/or “front line ready” so they both sold at more of a premium vs a similar example in rougher condition. So the overall lesson is, its about condition, miles do not make much of a difference on new-used historically. Now as things age, yes guys will bid up cleaner lower miles stuff vs similar average because of supply and demand, but when cars are new-used supply is plentiful.

        I cannot give you a percentage breakdown but I will say these are the major factors in new-used: condition, balance of warranty, pre-certified or pre-inspected, ease of finance, and then miles, model, trim. Warranties didn’t matter as much on D3 stuff but Zee Germans, oh yes you wanted that factory warranty if it was still available. Financing is the other largely unknown factor, whatever banks love to finance is more in demand than the 92 Cadillac Coupe de Ville that me and maybe six other retail buyers in my region pine after. I saw that with the SUVs then, that was probably the 10th word out of everyone’s mouth. For the discerning gentleman who loathed the SUV, THAT was the time to live because most other segments were free in comparison. But banks looooved to write a note for that Explorer, Blazer, Pathfinder etc. and ease of finance is an overlooked importance when running a shop. If you only have niche stuff (so, if I ran a lot) in addition to sitting on inventory even when I get a customer I may get guff from the banks. But if I sold a 4Runner to a FICO 590? Oh right this way to your 14% loan (this is pre 2008).

        I’m only seeing one page on that Manheim link.

      • 0 avatar

        My wife works for a wholesale auction. Over the last 18 months prices on 3-4 year old cars are up any where from 3-8k for exact same model, trim, mileage and condition. a 4 year old Ford Explorer limited with 50k miles used to whole sale in the 20-22k, now its more more like 26-28k. It’s crazy, easy to see why thou, the volume of cars flowing thru is much lower than normal with the same number of dealers bidding on them.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    I’m waiting to see what prices do when the needed chips arrive and are installed in all of those unfinished new vehicles stored in various nooks and crannies all over. Will these be released to dealers for sale a bit at a time or will the market flood with new 2020/2021 models all at once. The pricing on all vehicles, new and pre-owned, will be interesting to watch… (your pop-up Toyota ad is really screwing with my laptop)

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I have a lease up in August of next year, I will probably buy it out as I am pretty sure it would give me $5-6k of equity over the residual value.

      So, if I want a new ride, I can just sell it at inflated prices and use the money over residual to pay the anticipated hike on a new ride and all is right with the world.

      I did buy my son a used car in July and probably paid $2k more that I would have a year earlier. Used cars are in a sad state right now, I think it is difficult to find anything decent under 10K. I was generally appalled at the sorry state of the vehicles in the under 10k price range we looked at.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Dealers are loving these high transaction prices so I bet they want this low inventory situation to continue as is. Used vehicle pricing might be up but they are still low-balling trade-ins. I’m trying to buy a Santa Cruz and went thru one of those “click here for a cash offer” just for giggles and its was about HALF what KBB says my current truck is worth on trade, which (of course) is nearly 40% below what my truck would retail for on the open market.

      Granted my vehicle is an ’02 with 120k so it not very desirable when compared against 2 to 4 year old vehicles that can traded for what they cost when originally purchased – basically seeing zero depreciation.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Dealers are loving these high transaction prices so I bet they want this low inventory situation to continue as is.”

        New dealers perhaps, but the smaller time guys are hurting like you would not believe.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          @28-Cars-Later Sir, how do you think this will effect, yes with an “e” and not an “a” the mega dealers with 10 + stores? Will Larry and Cokey keep chugging along?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Some years back I believe Mark Baruth had a piece about what was happening on the new car dealer side. I cannot recall if he made the claim or we did in the discussions, but the consensus was the smaller new dealers were going to sell out to the large corporations who would all have multiple marque offerings.

            The smaller time indys will likely also go away either to consolidation, retirement, or simply bankruptcy though some will survive (largely through absorbing market share or specializing in a niche). Overall market inventory will start to decline because I do not believe 2021-24 production will equal 2014-2020ish, so the smaller guys are going to get squeezed on inventory because mega-corps simply won’t sell their decent trades. The indy makes his money on retail sales, trade and some financing, the mega corp makes money on service, new sales, used sales, wholesale, and financing. So the mega corp can weather storms where Joe Bob Cars cannot.

            This is all similar to what’s been happening in real estate, corporate consolidation who can get unlimited ZIRP money squeezing out the small timers. Soon it will be something out of science fiction, mega corps and government tightly wound and can dictate terms to individuals who no longer have much or any leverage.

            Btw who is Larry and Cokey?

      • 0 avatar
        Bill Wade

        Carvana gave me $29k for a low mileage 2014 Challenger R/T. I’d have had a hard time selling it much more for that unless it was a cash buyer. I ordered a 2022 Challenger Scat Pack with a small but $2k discount from MSRP. We’ll see if I actually get it after China invades Taiwan and there’s no chips. :(

        Carvana also gave me $19k for a 2018 Sportwagen with 24k miles that I paid $18k for. Any time you can sell a VW for more than what you paid new, by all means take it.

        My 2004 Tundra went for $25k on BAT. The Toyota fanboys are out of their minds.

        When this all crashes, and it will, a lot of people will be left standing after musical chairs.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “Carvana also gave me $19k for a 2018 Sportwagen with 24k miles that I paid $18k for.”

          That’s how you *know* everything is broken.

        • 0 avatar
          tomLU86

          @Bill Wade. It depends how you look at things. If you are pleased with the transactions, THAT is what matters, not the market averages.

          Your Tundra looks like a win/win. You got good money for an 18-year old vehicle. It seems rust-free, and it wasn’t sitting, and it was in great shape (or it wouldn’t be on BAT). Have you looked at the prices of used trucks with under 100k miles, be they full-size, or Tacomas, or even post-2014 Colorados, that look decent? $25k gets you, in Michigan, a 2015-16 Colorado 4wd with 40-70k, or a 2012 Tacoma or full-size domestic with 100k to 120k-150k.

          As with other (desirable) vehicles, BAT prices are all over the map. A nice 01 Tundra, very clean underbody, 75k miles, go for $19k. Another 01 Tundra, 23k, went for $35k (THAT is too much, IMO).

          If you no longer need a truck (or whatever vehicle), and won’t want or need it in the future, it’s a good time to sell. But if you have a good vehicle you like, I’d think about that “good” price you’re getting, because it will be hard or expensive or both to replace, though you do have to keep it insured, it takes up space, and maintained.

          The difference between now, and say 1979-80, is that in 1979, cars that were 15 years old were few, beat, and not long for this world, and cars that were early 1970s had maybe 5 years of life left, so even as prices were jumping, one had to think, “this will cost even more in two years” (though in reality, starting in 1983, new car MSRP rises became modest again, as in 2-4% a year, but who knew in 1980?).

          Today, 20 year old car that is in decent shape and not rusty has 5-10 years of life, and a 2010 has 10 or more. So if you don’t mind an older car, it makes sense to hold onto what YOU know, vs sell it, and then get another used car where you may have to discover it’s quirks and costs.

          When all this crashes, in terms of what people can afford, vehicles, especially ICE, will cost more.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Today, 20 year old car that is in decent shape and not rusty has 5-10 years of life, and a 2010 has 10 or more.”

            You will have examples which will feature well below average miles, but average mileage historically is 12K/year. So a 20yo example will be 200-240K mile, and low miles examples will be 100-150K or thereabouts. Unless all maintenance and fluids have been kept up on (prob 1-3% of MY00-10) I don’t see many examples on average having such long life left.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @28Cars is correct. In what universe do people consistently use 25+ year old cars as daily drivers. Built in obsolescence was perfected by auto manufacturers. All parts when developed and sources are designed for a defined lifespan. Anything after that is due to luck. In Canada as of 2020 the average vehicle on the road was just under 10 years old. In the USA it was just under 12 years. More worrisome is that 30% of auto technicians are in the 55-64 age bracket and 64% are over the age of 45. That means that ICE mechanics will disappear about the same time as ICE vehicles represent the minority of vehicles on the road.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Arthur

            That’s a very good additional point on the age of tech/mechanics. I agree that number will decrease but doubt it will disappear per se.

            I have an MY93 Volvo 244 downstairs, and besides being stored outside for the past 10+ years its been driven very little since 2011 (maybe 5-7K miles). Lots of little bits of surface rust that I will be handling, one door has a hole and needs replaced, and some more worrisome spots which I will have to take to a shop for professional care. But the Volvo 200 is the exception and not the norm. Outside of pickups and perhaps full size vans, prior to around MY10 I don’t see much beyond some 90s Euro stuff, 90s/00s Japanese and some 90s/00s American existing over the next few years. I know we hear EV can do a kajillion miles and lasts decades but I’d be curious to know realistically what their their lifespan will be.

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      bullnuke-

      I would like to get a new truck-and have narrowed it down to either the Tundra or F-150. I am in no hurry-so whenever the market stabilizes and returns to a sense of normalcy is fine with me. However-I have zero interest in buying a truck with a build date of a year old or more-sitting in mud or dust-and yes there are plenty of pictures floating around to verify my concerns. So-realistically I am probably going to need to wait awhile to see some build dates that are next year-which is fine.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      @bullnuke Sir, I would say all of the manufacturers are shall we say, anxious to get the needed chips installed and sell those vehicles to the dealers. We may yet hear ads of “stack them deep and sell them cheap”. Stellantis might find an old FCA sales and marketing guy and ask about the sales bank.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    I rolled the dice recently. Sold my 17 Civic EX-T Manual to carvana for $40 over the original MSRP with 39000 miles on it. Going to pay more for fuel and drive my F250. Betting / Hoping if Xiden does not do anything too stupid I can replace the Civic in a year or two. If the Build Back Broke passes all bets are off. With sales tax and inflation the Civic ended up costing about 4 grand over 4 years. Not great but worth a shot since I had another ride.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Sold my 17 Civic EX-T Manual to carvana for $40 over the original MSRP with 39000 miles on it.”

      That’s astounding.

      “Hoping if Xiden does not do anything too stupid”

      I really wouldn’t take that bet. I *would* bet the automotive shenanigans are going to continue well into 2024.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @28-Cars-Later Sir, I couldn’t reply directly.

        Foursquare Larry, your stalwart salesman with Post-It notes printed with giant + on them, already divided into four neat squares.

        Cokey is really just the sales manager’s nickname. It blithely addresses his deviancies: dealer add-ons, kickbacks from financial institutions, shenanigans with the finance office, and oh yeah, his ever-increasing need for cash for Peruvian marching powder. Never mind the 19-YO receptionists who finish beauty college and just quit without filing another sexual harassment lawsuit.

        Or just another day in a mega-dealership.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Dude, if you can’t see your way clear to dropping $20,000 on a car until the Democrats are out of office, the problem ain’t the Democrats.

      Blaming your financial success or failure on a political party is pure comedy gold.

      He’s here until Monday, ladies and gents…tip your waitress.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        “Dude, if you can’t see your way clear to dropping $20,000 on a car until the Democrats are out of office, the problem ain’t the Democrats.”

        What I can’t see is dropping 28 grand on a 20 thousand dollar car. Good news FM. November set a new record inflationary rate that we have not seen in 40 years. 6.8 percent! Now if stupid Joe can pass his build back broke program you can add another 3 trillion in unfunded cash dumped into the economy. You must be so proud. In three years that 20 thousand dollar civic will only cost 40 grand. If sleepy joe even allows mere citizens to by ICE cars by then.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          More comedy gold…
          High car prices? Blame Biden.
          High gas prices? Blame Biden.
          Acne outbreak? Blame Biden.
          Uncle Zed farts too much at Thanksgiving dinner? Blame Biden.

          The fascinating thing, though, is that once all this crap blows over – and it will – you’re going to give the credit to any one BUT Biden.

          And the truth of the matter is that if Biden COULD control inflation, he would. Why? Because he’s an elected politician and voters don’t like inflation. But inflation isn’t under the president’s control, is it? Nope. And it never has been.

          So blame away. People who know better know you’re just bulls**tting.

          • 0 avatar
            MoDo

            Lol yeah right, keep your head in the sand

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Part of the inflation spiral is the vote of zero confidence by dollar holders in US Gov’t/The Fed. I imagine most of this was baked into the cake so to speak to happen anyway but the consequences are certainly exacerbated by the coup’s seizure of power.

          • 0 avatar
            RHD

            Inability to spell 3 letter words, blame President Biden.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Automotive News nailed down the annual difference to a 44-percent increase”

    Whew.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’m feeling downright brilliant for buying my new car when I did.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      You felt brilliant already. :-)

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Pimpin’ ain’t easy.

        Seriously, I wish I could say it was brilliance, but it was pure luck. I found a car I loved that had been on the lot for a few months. I got a decent deal on it, and I got at least two grand more on my trade than I’d have gotten even a couple of months earlier. That’s a happy situation that just isn’t there anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I feel good too, although it was just absolutely pure dumb luck with the timing. Got a barely used Rogue (4k miles) for my daughter in late January 2020; 4 months ago the dealership offered to buy it back for $6k more than I paid. Can’t imagine what they’d sell it for.

      I will say that at the new car dealerships around here there is very little new stock (well, except Mitsubishi), but their used lot is well-stocked, and of course Carmax, Vroom, etc all have full lots.

      My gut instinct is to suggest everyone limp along with their current ride as long as they can until inventories build back up, but I don’t think we’ll ever see the buyers market again that we had pre-Covid.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This is why I bought my lease last month – the price was right there in the contract from 2018. Couldn’t touch anything else for the same money.

    Does anyone know if insurance companies are adjusting payouts for totaled cars, due to prevailing market conditions? I feel bad for people who are forced to get a replacement ride.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      My neighbor’s 2016 Audi A3 got totaled (while parked in front of his house) a couple weeks ago by a reckless driver. He’s very much wondering that same question. Haven’t heard the result yet.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        That’s awful, was it from the jag offs driving like maniacs in your 25mph street?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @dal:
        That sucks, but as the former owner of a ’15 A3, I can tell you the universe may have done him a favor by taking the car out before the really expensive stuff started going wrong.

        Unfortunate timing, but on the other hand, with values as ridiculous as they are right now, he might get a far better settlement than he would have a year ago.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          His experience with his A3 was drama-free, but it was at about the age where that might stop.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Don’t tell me…he had around 50-60,000 miles? I got mine with 29,000 miles, and it was perfect until about 55,000 miles. That’s when the fun began.

            I’m on a Facebook page for local Audi owners, and every time I see some 25-year-old guy showing off his off-lease Audi and prattling on about all the mods he’s planning to make, I just say a little prayer for him. These cars ALL go wrong at around 50-60,000 miles – you can practically set a clock by it, even if it was maintained by the book (which mine was).

            Don’t get me wrong – I loved my old A3 dearly. And it was not unreliable per se – just troublesome. Looking back, I think the “what’s next” stress was worse than actually paying for the repairs. Ah well. At least I got a ton of travel points by paying the mechanic with my Amex.

        • 0 avatar
          SilverCoupe

          Uh oh, my 2008 A5 is about to hit 49,000.
          No problems of significance so far. I did have to replace a headlight this year, but that’s about it.

          It is so low mileage as I used to take the train in to work, but I have been driving in this year, on those days that I go in.

    • 0 avatar
      AK

      Insurance is adjusting payouts. My parents were struck head on (oncoming car jumped a concrete median and ran straight into them at speed) in their 2015 Acura RDX back in September. Was a base model RDX with AWD. 69k miles.

      They were looking at selling it a few months prior and trade in value was around $15k. In October, State Farm came with an offer of $17.5k for the total. My father countered with “we’d like to replace it with the same model, used” and State Farm came back with another offer of $23k after browsing the used market and seeing what they were going for.

      They took the $23k and put it into a new CX-5.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        @AK Yes, they’re definitely adjusting payouts. Last May, Daughter #2 got into a sideswipe accident (she and another driver ran into each other while changing lanes on a freeway service road). She drives a 2014 Kia Forte sedan that we bought for $5600 cash in late 2019, and the damage after the supplement (it needed a new driver’s door) was about $4500. I was worried they were going to total it (it still drove fine, and not damaged enough to affect the operation of the door and window, air/water sealing, etc.) But, a replacement car like it would be $8k to $9k, and the insurance company approved the repairs.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Glad for your parents that they weren’t hurt, and got such a good settlement.

        Of course, I suppose high car prices will result in higher insurance premiums pretty soon, although insurance rates maybe more affected by the cost of fixing people than the cost of fixing cars.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Every day that the market is like this I’m tempted to sell my Highlander. It’s a 2016 with 63k miles and yet I could get $30k without trouble.

    The problem is then I need a car for our next family road trip.

    Rental cars are often unavailable and ludicrously expensive when you can find them, and buying a car right now is a fool’s game unless you want a new car that’s not in high demand (i.e., a big sedan).

    • 0 avatar
      ktm

      Same here. I bought my used 2019 Odyssey EX-L in October 2019 with 14k on the clock and paid $32k. It now has 22k miles (2020 was a blur and I travel by plane when not WFH) and I just checked Carvana while reading this article and they quoted $37k for it.

      We have three cars in the family (2014 Prius, 2019 Odyssey and 2006 Mustang GT convertible toy) and our daughter just turned 2016 and got her permit. The plan is to give her my wife’s Prius and get an EV for my wife. While we wait for prices to cool, I can drive the Mustang as necessary and the wife the Odyssey.

      At $37k though, I may start noodling on how to make it work with just two cars. Daughter would most likely lose out, but would hate to do that to her in her senior year. Having her drive to school would help with logistics.

  • avatar
    randy in rocklin

    Anyone looking for Acuras, I have two of them. 75k miles 02 and 03.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      They aren’t TLs or CLs are they?

      • 0 avatar
        2ACL

        If you’re ‘concerned’ about the defective transmissions we discussed a while back, the MDX of that time frame is also an affected model. That leaves the CL-S 6MT, NSX, RL, and RSX (add the EL if you’re in Canada) as millennial Acuras you can buy with relatively high confidence of not having a timebomb transaxle under the hood.

        That said, I still regularly see well-kept TLs and MDXs from that time period on DFW roads. Good cars apart from the stupid 5AT; my brother had an ’02 TL-S that apart from the transmission expiring a week after he purchased it (the local Acura dealership towed and replaced it at no cost despite him buying it from a non-Acura lot), gave him no problems that weren’t borne of his own negligence (he picked up an ’03 IS 500 5MT a few years later and focused almost exclusively on it). If I had the means at the time, I would’ve taken the challenge of getting it to 200k. Everything wrong with it was expected, mechanical wear and tear he chose not to address, the worst of which was busted motor mounts.

      • 0 avatar
        randy in rocklin

        Yes, had the bypass tubes replaced all has been well for over 5 years now. 2 for 10k.

      • 0 avatar
        randy in rocklin

        Yes, had the bypass tubes replaced all has been well for over 5 years now. 2 for 10k.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I’m in the market, but dealers are wanting stupid money for everything, including the unloved sedan.

    Arteon are selling for 10k more now than where they were 2 years ago. I’m interested, but not spending stupid money on that. Same with older Lexus LS460. There are a couple for sale with over 130k miles and pricing near $18k. Just can’t do it.

    At this point, the idea of buying/leasing new looks reasonable. Maybe a ’22 Stinger with the new 2.5T is in the cards. That pinched back seat is a problem for a family guy.

    Grr, this is frustrating.

    Open to suggestions for unloved brands with quality sedans. Acura RLX comes to mind, but not many available in the Sport Hybrid variant.

    Probably should check out the Avalon TRD.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      On the used side, maybe a 2014-2017 Regal or the last gen Genesis G80 or a Fusion 2.0t?
      If you’re looking for a new “family guy” car then I’d say Accord 2.0t.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      With used prices so high why not just buy new – you can get sedans for under MSRP?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Two things:

        1. Where are new sedans going for under MSRP?

        2. There is a divide between those who can buy new *and* qualify for financing and those who cannot do *both*.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Here’s an example I was just looking at:

          2019 Charger Scat Pack started at $39,995 with a $1,395 destination and had a $4900 national incentive for most of the year. Let’s say either through negotiating or regional incentives you get that to $5900. So $35,490 in 2019.

          2022 Charger Scat Pack starts at $43,675 with a $1,595 destination fee. Some of the option prices have also increased, but we’ll just compare base versions. There are no incentives on the new model year but “Bill Wade” above said he got $2000 off on his Challenger so we’ll use that. So in 2022 you’re at $43,270.

          An increase of $7700 (22%) over two years on what is functionally the same car and without taking taxes into account (which depending on where you live could make the situation much worse). Did the Vroom price of your current car go up by that much over the same period?

          So you might still be “under MSRP” on certain sedans but you’re still getting comparatively blasted.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      With used prices so high why not just buy new – you can get sedans for under MSRP?

  • avatar
    AK

    Last weekend I placed an order for a 22′ BRZ. Took a few dealerships but I found one that would sell it for MSRP with no markup and no dealer add ons. Car will be here in March.

    Most interesting part of the deal was them agreeing on a value for my trade in (2016 Focus ST with 44k currently) since I’ll be driving the car until the BRZ comes in. Carvana and KBB were both at 21k but I got the dealer to lock my trade in at $19.5k. I told them the car will probably have another 1500 miles on it and they were fine with it.

    Worse examples of the car have sold for $25k this month on Carvana so I’m sure they’re coming out well ahead here. Regardless, I paid $21,453 for the car back in 2015 so I’m happy with the $2k depreciation after 45k miles and nearly 7 years. The thing was worth $14k back in 2019!

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Dude, beware…this is EXACTLY the same thing I did back in 1985 when I bought a Honda Civic. They “gave me a value” for my trade too, and several months later, when I came in to complete the deal, my car was magically worth about 30% less. The salesman said that if I didn’t want the Civic, there were two other people there behind me.

      I sure hope you don’t get boned like I did.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    A year ago, I bought a stripped-out ’02 Silverado with 94k miles for $5500 – about 1/3 of the original MSRP! I felt like that was a lot of money for a 19 year old truck.

    Then again, what else can you buy these days for $5500 that has at least another 50k of life in it??

  • avatar
    Crosley

    Wait it out, I’m not playing the game. I do think though some of this is just widespread inflation we’re seeing everywhere. Not every price that goes up is over a computer chip shortage.

    I’m in the “cycle” to get a new(er) car, but I’m not exactly dying in my current car at 70k miles.

    I’ll circle back in like a year.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Are vehicles 10-15 years old somewhat shielded from this?

    I want a truck for light duty suburban homeowner bs. It won’t be a daily commuter, so it can be old. I would like to be able to load the kiddo in it in a pinch, so it shouldn’t be too old.

    My hope is that higher prices are focused on newer cars that sane people might use for daily family transportation. Trucks have always had a high depreciation floor, so I’m having a hard time figuring out what an appropriate price is.

    Car gurus claims price jumps aren’t as severe as what’s discussed here – closer to 10-15% year over year for older stuff. Anyone of thoughts on older trucks in this market?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Nope. Everything used at all levels is extremely expensive. It wasn’t so long ago that a “sucky but will work for transportation” car was $2000. Now it’s $5000 and up.

      • 0 avatar
        2ACL

        @dal20402

        Bingo. In my later high school/early collage years (early-mid 2000s), it was possible to pick up a 10+ year old, but otherwise fully viable (minimal mechanical issues, cosmetically sound) car for ~$3,500. Given the difficulty I had with finding an acceptable car for my girlfriend at $7,000 just prior to the pandemic (she eventually relented and doubled her budget), I can only imagine how difficult it would be to work with half of that today. I casually browse through Craigslist, and much of what I’ve come across for $3,500 is a potential project at best, crusher fodder at worst.

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      burgersandbeer-

      You are going to find out that old Suburbans are highly sought after. That’s a high demand vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Good thing I’m not looking for a suburban! I want an open bed.

        A neighbor has what looks like a suburban from the 80s with the body and paint in great shape. He must have bought it from a friendlier climate.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Just got an email today from Ford saying that my new hybrid Maverick will be produced the week of Feb. 14. Will get $500 off for Farm Bureau membership and nothing else but at least I did not pay above MSRP and total cost with tax, title and licensing will be less than 26k which includes spray in bed liner, full size spare, and all weather floor mats. Should not need a new vehicle for several years.

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