If you’re in the market for a used car you might finally be getting good news. Not only are prices taking a dip after several years of record increases, but automotive lenders also are loosening up credit.
The U.S. used car market is huge. By various industry estimates, it’s as much as three times larger than the new vehicle market – which would mean nearly 50 million “previously owned” vehicles will be sold for all of 2013 by franchised dealers, used car lots and individuals. The problem is that the supply dried up during the years following the American economic collapse because with fewer two, three and four-year-old vehicles ready for trade-in, demand outstripped supply.
Now, however, with the new car market heating back up, there are more cars coming off-lease, in particular. And a bigger supply normally translates into reduced prices. According to data tracking site Edmunds.com, the typical used vehicle sold for $15,617 during the third quarter of this year. That was down a sizable 2.8% from the second quarter and, perhaps more significantly, a 0.9% decline from year-earlier prices.