Used Car Prices Rise Dramatically, Observes

Used Car Prices Rise Dramatically, Observes

Used Car Prices Rise Dramatically, Observes

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — June 30, 2010 —, the premier online resource for automotive information, has analyzed used car pricing trends and determined that the average price of a three-year old car is 11.1 percent higher than it was last year — a remarkably high year-over-year increase. Used cars of all ages are 5.5 percent more expensive than they were last year. Typically, the year-over-year increase is less than 3.5 percent.

"Frugality is in fashion, and a used car purchase looks and feels more thrifty," noted Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. "However, a number of people are researching used cars on our site but then ultimately buying a new car, swayed by the limited used inventory available and the minimal difference between the prices of lightly used cars and their heavily incentivized new counterparts."

Some of the most dramatic examples of used car price increases can be found in the General Motors stable. The prices of used cars and trucks from General Motors have risen 7.8 percent in the past year, mostly due to the pricing power of GM's full-size trucks and SUVs. For example, a three-year-old Chevy Silverado 1500 costs 23.7 percent more it did than this time last year, and the average three-year-old Chevy Tahoe price is up 31.2 percent. In the same period, the prices of used cars from Honda increased only 2.3 percent and Toyota's declined 0.9 percent.

"In terms of used car pricing strength, GM has outpaced most other automakers — a remarkable feat considering that the brand recently emerged from bankruptcy," commented Analyst Joe Spina. "Consider, however, that even though Honda and Toyota used cars may not have GM's current momentum, the leading Japanese brands' resale values remain among the very best in the industry."

Even some of GM's terminated models have experienced dramatic price increases, thanks to the highly competitive used car marketplace. A three-year-old Saturn Vue costs about 15.9 percent more than it did this time last year, while its segment is up 11.3 percent. Used Pontiacs are also holding their value: a three-year-old G6 costs about five percent more than it did this time last year, outpacing its segment by almost three percentage points. The prices of used Grand Prix and Solstice models are up slightly over their segment average increases as well. And, perhaps a true sign of low gas prices, used Hummer H2 and H2 SUT price increases of 18.4 percent and 17.2 percent, respectively, are outpacing their segments.

"Given the dynamics of today's marketplace, it is worthwhile for a bargain-hunter to consider looking at new cars — which in some cases are less expensive to buy than used cars," commented Senior Consumer Advice Editor Philip Reed. tracks these deals at Some New Cars Now Cheaper than Used Cars, which can be found at

About Edmunds ( publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders., the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at, makes car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and otherwise on the go. is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at, features the wireless Web's highest quality car photos and videos. CarSpace is the most established automotive social networking Web site. provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit. Follow on Twitter@edmunds and fan on Facebook at

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