SANTA MONICA, California — Small models, such as the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit, provide the best value for used-car shoppers, according to the latest quarterly Used Vehicle Market Report from Edmunds.com.
Subcompacts vehicles such as the Fiesta and Fit, as well as the Chevrolet Spark, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris, saw prices drop by an average of 6.3 percent compared to this time last year.
Compact models, such as the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Mazda 3, Subaru Impreza and Volkswagen Golf, also provide excellent value, with prices for used examples down 2 percent from the second quarter of 2015.
"If you're a used-car shopper in the market for a small vehicle, this is a great time to buy," said Ivan Drury, senior analyst for Edmunds.com. "Prices are down for these vehicles because there is so much more demand for used trucks and SUVs. There are also lots of smaller cars coming back to the used-car market as people trade up into larger vehicles. So not only are prices low on used small cars, but there's also a wide selection available."
At the other end of the spectrum, those in-demand trucks and SUVs are commanding higher prices, resulting in less value for used-vehicle shoppers.
And values for large traditional SUVs — such as the Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Land Cruiser — haven't fared much better on used-vehicle lots, with prices up 8.9 percent since last year.
One reason truck and SUV values are on the rise is the decline in fuel prices over the past 12 months.
Notes the report: "With the price of gasoline dropping by nearly 40 cents compared to the second quarter of last year, it shouldn't be a surprise that we're seeing values for many pickups and SUVs leading the industry in terms of price increases."
Edmunds says: Shoppers in the market for a used vehicle will find a variety of useful resources at the Edmunds.com Used Car page.