Which vehicle do you think would cost more: A new Corvette or a used Corvette? If you said the new version, you’d be wrong. According to Edmunds.com a new Corvette costs $12 less a month than its one year old counterpart.
In fact, the Corvette is not alone. The gap between new car prices and used car prices is shrinking. With some new car inventory at low levels, used vehicles are in high demand. How does this economic shift affect you, the consumer?
More cash for your clunker
Are you driving around in a vehicle that you’re looking to trade-in or sell outright? Now’s the time to do it. Since demand for used vehicles is up, you’ll receive more money for your current car. Kelley Blue Book estimates the average value of a one- to three-year-old used car has increased 16% from 2008 to 2011. With that extra money in your pocket, you could put a bigger down payment on a new vehicle or you can keep the cash.
In case you didn’t know, any AutoNation location will buy your current vehicle, even if you don’t buy a new car from us. If you’d like to satisfy your curiosity and see what your car is worth, you can value your current vehicle for free on our website.
New car vs. used car
In the past, buying a used vehicle over a new one could save you thousands of dollars. That’s not the case right now. The savings, if any, are much smaller. So, if you’re in the market for a pre-owned vehicle, it makes financial sense to consider a new one as well.
Just because some new vehicle inventory might be low, that doesn’t mean you won’t get a great deal. Many manufacturers have been losing a lot of market share. In fact, life-long customers of imports have shifted to domestic brands. When brands lose market share, prices drop and incentives get more creative. Currently, many manufacturers are offering their lowest prices of the year, during their model year-end sales events.
Plus, Honda recently announced the Honda Promise. If you find a Honda and an offer you like, but the car is not in stock, Honda will honor the promotion when the vehicle becomes available.
New car sales in 2012
This strange used car market won’t last forever. As new car inventories come back towards the end of this year, there should be a downturn in used vehicle prices and a return to normal sometime in 2012.
Until then, you will continue to see a high demand for trade-ins and some used vehicles priced higher than their new car counterparts.