Used car price increases fell slightly in March

Let’s call it a silver lining that’s only about four percent silver – but it’s still something. According to a study of used car prices by iSeeCars, the average price of used vehicles between one and five years old fell by $600 in March. Instead of the average price for this subset of used cars being $35,029, as it was in February, the average price in March was $34,429. Nevertheless, this meager silvery sheen is still wrapped around a big cloud. The year-over-year increase in March 2022 from March 2021 is down from the same year-over-year jump in February; the average cost of a used car only increased by 30.4% compared to March 2021, while it had increased by 35.0% in February. But that means the same vehicle cost $8,032 more last month than it did in March 2021. One step forward, eight miles back.

Remember when the onset of the Great Recession made the old niche Toyota Prius a must-have addition to the garage? The continued Covid grind, microchip scarcity, supply chain issues, long wait times for new cars and depressed inventories for new and used cars have done the same for bodies and powertrains with generally lukewarm response to the best of the US market. the cars with the biggest price gains are hybrids, electrics, subcompacts and hatchbacks. The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid led the way with a 63.9% jump from last March, costing $9,991 more in March 2022. Hybrids overall were up 40.5%, electrics 36.3 %. Even the Mitsubishi Mirage makes the list, asking $4,431 more than last year, a 42.6% increase. The only outlier was the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, up 48% from last year to average $220,826 thanks to customers not wanting to wait a year for delivery.

At the other end, crossovers and SUVs, coupes and pickups posted the smallest price gains. Digging into the numbers shows there are bargains to be had, the emphasis on “relative”. The top 10 vehicles with the smallest bumps are mostly already expensive, like the Jaguar F-Pace at number four and the Porsche Macan at number six, or not exactly popular, like the Nissan Titan, which makes the list twice in regular and XD forms. And those bumps still aren’t small, ranging from 9.0 percent for the Maserati Levante to 16.9 percent for the Ford Mustang.

Check out the full breakdown on iSeeCars. It’s not much for a chink in the armor of oppressive inflationary news, maybe more a scratch, but we’ll take all the crumbs of hope we can get.

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