Newer Compact, Subcompact and Midsize Cars Buck Overall Trend of Elevated Used Car Prices

Prices are down for some of the most popular segments of used cars, even as overall used car prices climbed to an all-time high in the first quarter of 2015, reports car-buying platform

According to Edmunds’ Q1 2015 Used Vehicle Market Report, used car shoppers in the market for “near-new” (five years old and younger) subcompact and compact cars are paying 2.8 percent and 2.0 percent less, respectively, than they did just a year ago. Shoppers are also seeing lower prices for near-new used midsize cars (-1.6 percent), minivans (-2.0 percent), and entry sport cars (-2.1 percent). The price decreases in these segments stand in stark contrast to overall used car pricing trends. In the first quarter of 2015, analysts noted a 7.1 percent year-over-year increase to an all-time high of $18,088 per vehicle.

“The recent surge in leases for small and midsize cars has spurred an avalanche of post-lease vehicles returning to the used car market, and with larger supply comes lower prices,” says Director of Industry Analysis Jessica Caldwell. “There’s no sign that this surge in leasing will slow down any time soon, so shoppers can continue to expect prices of these cars to stay relatively low as they continue to flood the secondhand market in the coming months and years.”

For some small used car models, the year-over-year price drops are more extreme. A near-new Fiat 500, for example, cost 12.5 percent less on average in Q1 2015 than it did during Q1 2014. Edmunds analysts found similar price drops for a near-new Toyota Prius c (-10.1 percent), Hyundai Veloster (-8.4 percent) and Volkswagen Jetta (-7.9 percent).

The market has been less kind to used truck and SUV buyers. The average price of used trucks was up 10 percent year over year in the first quarter, and the average price for used large SUVs was up 8.7 percent. Edmunds analysts say that prices are elevated for these vehicles because affordable prices at the pump created a spike in demand for larger gas-guzzlers, both new and used.

Edmunds’ Q1 2015 Used Vehicle Market Report offers a wealth of unique insights into the used car market for both buyers and sellers. The report is available for free at

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