Kelley Blue Book reports that the average value of a used car has increased by 16 percent each year for the past three years, with drivers paying nearly $8,000 more today compared to 2008.
According to the company, the average costs of a used vehicle that was between one and three years old was just above $15,000. Today, it's $23,000, primarily due to limited supply because of a lack of new car sales in recent years.
"While the pace of used-car appreciation is likely to subside as supply, and ultimately sales, improve, we expect used-vehicle values to remain strong for the next two to three years," said Alec Gutierrez, manager of vehicle valuation for Kelley Blue Book. "Consumers who plan to sell or trade-in a used car soon will likely see their vehicle hold its value well. Alternatively, shoppers in the market for a used car will continue to pay more, making it difficult to buy at a discount."
Drivers in the market for a used vehicle need to not only budget out the cost of their initial purchase, but also the tune-ups and vehicle inspections the car will need over its lifespan. A used car might seem like more trouble than it's worth, but careful shoppers can actually save themselves money if they stay on top of their maintenance.