KBB: Used car prices won't stay high forever

July 12, 2011 12:00 AM

One of the more noteworthy trends in the automotive industry as of late has been the sky-high price of used cars, which have reached historic levels in some cases. Between drivers searching for cheap models with high MPG ratings and the strain of the Japanese earthquake, there's a lot of demand for used cars right now when there previously wasn't.

While these factors have driven the price of a used car up beyond what many would feel comfortable paying, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) doesn't believe this trend will last through the end of the year. In fact, KBB just released its predictions for used car prices in the fuel-efficient categories that have been most affected. By the end of 2011, the company believes hybrids will drop by 16 percent, compacts by 15 percent and subcompacts by 13 percent.

The reason for the change is simply a shift in economic conditions. The Japanese manufacturers affected by the quake are expected to be at full production ahead of schedule, while gas prices have slowly been dropping as of late. This won't quite drop used car values back to the point before they began to increase, but it will go a long way toward helping buyers make a used car purchase. 

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