Used-Car Prices Hit Record High In Second Quarter | Edmunds

Used-Car Prices Hit Record High In Second Quarter

SANTA MONICA, California Used-car prices are up nearly 8 percent, hitting a new record high of $18,800 in the second quarter, according to the Q2 2015 Used Vehicle Market report released on Thursday by

Newer used-car inventories are one of the reasons for record prices, as an influx of lease vehicles return to the secondhand market.

But the report notes that just because newer used cars come with a bigger price tag, it doesn't mean that used-car shoppers are not locking in good values.

"Because there's a growing inventory of newer used cars, the prices on these vehicles seem to be more consumer-friendly than in the past," said Director of Industry Analysis Jessica Caldwell. "Three-year-old used cars, for example, have more bells and whistles than older used cars, and they're actually selling for less than they did just one year ago.

"Compare that to vehicles aged eight years and over, whose prices are up 11 percent or more, on average, over last year. There's undoubtedly a growing value proposition these days in newer used cars."

Pickup trucks are seeing the most price growth in the used-car market, the report said.

Used truck inventory should grow in the coming years, since more new truck buyers are opting to lease. This trend is expected to grow, which would put more near-new trucks on the used market and soften prices.

Passenger cars are generally showing year-over-year declines as a result of lower demand.

The average amount financed on a used car is $20,732, which is up 3 percent from a year ago.

The finance amount is larger than the average price of used cars because many of the more inexpensive transactions are paid in cash.

Edmunds says: While a majority of consumers look solely at new or solely at used vehicles, there is a growing segment that shops both vehicle types. For these shoppers, near new and certified pre-owned vehicles are the most desirable used option.

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