"Values at auctions across the country increased nearly 2 percent in March, primarily led by strong gains in values of fuel-efficient vehicles, which have been in high demand from rising gas prices," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. "Seasonal influences also played a role in the market's strength. March traditionally is one of the strongest months of the year for both new- and used-car sales, and this year was no exception."
Strong sales coupled with a limited supply of used vehicles at auction only put further upward pressure on values. Many one- and two-year-old used fuel-efficient vehicles are so expensive today that a comparable new vehicle may only be marginally more expensive.
"Consumers have more options than ever before when it comes to fuel-efficient offerings, and many of these vehicles can be leased for less than $200 per month and a small down payment," said Gutierrez. "Dealers must keep this in mind as they continue to pay more and more for used compacts at auction. As values rise, dealers will find it difficult to pass along the premium paid at auction to consumers."
Dealers should be especially wary of overpaying on used fuel-efficient vehicles in the months ahead. With so many new and redesigned subcompact and compact offerings available today, consumers will have little reason to pay close to sticker for a one- or two-year-old used vehicle.
Segments listed include 1 to 3-year-old vehicles (MY2009-2011)
The monthly Blue Book Market Report explores the state of the automotive industry by analyzing Kelley Blue Book® Auction Values. The report also discusses developments in residual values and trends in monthly used-car shopper activity on kbb.com. If you would like to subscribe to the monthly Blue Book Market Report, please e-mail [email protected].
About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. Kbb.com provides consumer pricing and information on minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader.com.