High Demand, Low Supply Hikes Used Car Prices

May 10, 2011
Originally published on May 10, 2011 8:21 am
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NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON: When the economy was really bad, car companies didn't produce as much. So, there are fewer 2008, 2009, 2010 used cars. Less supply, and on the demand side...

ALEC GUTIERREZ: People are looking to save money wherever they can, so a used vehicle has turned out to be a great alternative to going out and dropping top dollar on a brand new vehicle.

GLINTON: That's Alec Gutierrez with Kelly Blue Book. He does nothing but study used car prices. He says demand for used cars is up and supply is down. That means the price is going up. Then there are the cars themselves.

GUTIERREZ: The vehicles that have been produced in the last, maybe three to five years, have been of substantially better quality - really across the board.

GLINTON: Jesse Toprak of TrueCar.com says that has forced car dealers to pay customers more for their used cars.

JESSE TOPRAK: So that they'll have more selection for somebody who walks into their dealership to buy a new car but can't find it. And that the hope is that they'll be able to switch them to a more recent used car.

GLINTON: Sonari Glinton, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.