Dealers Paying More for Used Cars: What That Means for You

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Dealers paid 12.1% more for the average used car in the first half of May than they did one year ago. Used car wholesale prices increased 1% from where they stood at the end of April.

When dealers pay more for used cars at auction, they charge more for them retail. So, the news likely means buyers will see new price increases.

The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index tracks the price dealers pay for used cars at auctions. It has increased nearly 10% in a year. The index is a product of Kelley Blue Book parent company Cox Automotive.

Used car prices declined for the first three months of the year before jumping dramatically in April, resuming the rocket ride they’d been on all last year. The average used car buyer paid $28,365 in April – an increase of more than $1,100 from March.

Pickup Prices Dropped; Everything Else Rose

Every segment of the used car market saw price increases in the first two weeks of May except one: pickup trucks. Truck prices declined almost 3% compared to one year before.

Cars, both luxury and non-luxury, saw their prices grow fastest. Prices are rising fastest on the smallest cars. Rising gas prices may be driving those trends.

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