How High Used Car Prices Impact Car Buyers

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Content Manager

Bethany Hickey is is a Content Manager and Writer for Auto Credit Express, CarsDirect, and many other automotive blogs. She's a graduate from the University of Michigan-Flint, with a bachelor’s in English-Writing. 


, Content Manager - September 23, 2021

Aside from the point that high used car prices could mean paying more for your next pre-owned vehicle, the rising cost of used cars can impact buyers in other ways – which can be beneficial. According to Kelley Blue Book, a vehicle valuation research company, used car prices are breaking records time and time again. The average listing price for a used vehicle reached $25,829. Compared to August of 2019 (pre-pandemic), used car prices have increased 34% since then.

The rising prices of new and used vehicles alike can be traced back to the global chip shortage, which is slowing down the production of new cars. With lacking new stock at dealerships, many car buyers are either holding out on trading their pre-owned car in, or having to switch to the used car market.

Both avenues create a supply-demand issue. If buyers aren’t trading in their used vehicles, dealers have limited stock. If buyers are opting for a pre-owned car, it’s creating more of a demand for this market and raising prices, too.

While things seem grim for buyers that desire a pre-owned vehicle, car buyers with a trade-in could be in a great position right now amongst these record-breaking used vehicle prices.

Dealerships need inventory right now, in a bad way, so your trade-in is likely to be worth more in the current market than what it was worth projected to be worth a year ago. If your trade-in's in good condition, has low mileage, and is less than three years old, you’re in a golden spot to trade in your vehicle and likely get a solid offer. This is especially true for recently off-lease vehicles. If you're about to end a car lease, now is the time to consider buying it out and selling it for a profit because many vehicles are worth more than their original projected amount.

Trade-in equity lowers the cost of your next vehicle, which can help mitigate the higher prices we’re seeing currently. Additionally, automakers run special deals and incentives, and even trade-in incentives. If you have a vehicle to trade in and you qualify for new car deals, you may be in a better position than you thought in this surge of used car prices.

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, Content Manager

Bethany Hickey is is a Content Manager and Writer for Auto Credit Express, CarsDirect, and many other automotive blogs. She's a graduate from the University of Michigan-Flint, with a bachelor’s in English-Writing. 


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