Used car prices spiking as COVID-19 pandemic shakes up the market for new cars


If you were hoping to find some savings during the COVID-19 pandemic, you won't find them in the used-car market, unfortunately.

Then again, you might be able to make a few bucks if you're willing to part with a vehicle because used-car prices are spiking due to an unusual confluence of factors during the pandemic.

The reasons? Among them are that buyers are flooding the used-car market, looking for deals amid high prices for new vehicles, low interest rates and a shortage of new-vehicle inventory, according to car-research site Edmunds.

The average listing price of used vehicles was $21,558 in July, up $708 from June.

“It’s a seller’s market right now," Drury said. "Although used vehicles continue to offer significant discounts compared to new, used-car shoppers will find themselves in the unusual position where they might not have as much negotiation power because demand is so high and dealers will be less inclined to be flexible."

He advised buyers to be prepared to act quickly if they see a used car they want.

The price increases are especially sharp for larger vehicles, which are in high demand. Used large pickups, for example, saw a $2,301 increase in average list price in July, hitting $33,264, according to Edmunds. Midsize trucks recorded a $1,812 increase to $29,457.

Average July used car list prices, by vehicle segment, ranked by price change (with the increase from June in parentheses):

  • Large pickup: $33,264 (up $2,301)

  • Midsize truck: $29,457 (up $1,812)

  • Sports car: $24,867 (up $1,369)

  • Large SUV: $37,942 (up $1,094)

  • Large car: $22,446 (up $1,060)

  • Subcompact car: $13,214 (up $841)

  • Midsize SUV: $24,766 (up $803)

  • Midsize car: $16,709 (up $520)

  • Subcompact SUV: $17,169 (up $516)

  • Compact SUV: $18,949 (up $512)

  • Heavy-duty pickup: $43,044 (up $491)

  • Compact car: $14,859 (up $427)

  • Minivan: $21,727 (up $415)

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