SANTA MONICA, California — The new Edmunds.com Used Vehicle Market Report says 2016 is shaping up to be another record year for used-vehicle sales, with lots of inventory available for car shoppers.
"The market is flush with off-lease vehicles that are coming back to dealerships," the report said.
But finding bargain-basement prices may be difficult.
"In 2015 the average used car sold for a record of $18,552 and we anticipate that the average will remain high in 2016," the report said.
High prices are attributed in part to consumer interest in more expensive vehicles, including trucks and SUVs.
Bargain hunters should note that much near-new inventory is coming from car-rental agencies.
"Most former rentals are concentrated within the segments of midsize car, compact car, subcompact car and larger car and are often distinctly different in terms of content and mileage from off-lease or consumer trade-ins," the report said. "Based on the influx of this inventory and the expectation of low gas prices, Edmunds predicts that average prices will continue to fall for these segments."
Consumers who buy a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle should expect to pay an average of about $1,500 more per car than a traditional used car.
Large traditional SUVs have seen the most growth in transaction prices, while subcompact cars are among the used-vehicle segments with the least growth in transaction prices.
The report notes that fuel costs are projected to remain stable in 2016.
"This will give consumers who are on the fence about buying a truck or SUV further reason to purchase in these segments, fueling demand and increasing values," it said.
Edmunds says: Some interesting trends for shoppers to consider before heading out to their local used-car lot.