The Used Car Market in 2012

With New Year’s parties just days behind us, the world is still taking stock of 2011 and looking forward to 2012. For the used car market, there are some changes afoot.

In 2011, three times more used cars were sold than new. In some ways, this was great, but it’s going to lead to higher used car prices since fewer new cars were purchased last year. Even worse, for the used car market, this isn’t a new trend. If no one is buying new cars, the supply of used ones begins to drop.

Happily, there are signs that new car sales will begin to increase again in 2012, which might mean the high demand and higher prices for used cars (or at least the continued rise of both) will be short-lived.

In 2012, it should be a great time to sell that car you’ve been staring at and thinking about getting rid of. Demand is expected to be high and so are prices. Kelley Blue Book predicts used car prices will go up by as much as six percent in the early part of this year even though values dropped significantly in 2011.

If you’re buying a used car, start looking early. Popular models are going to be harder to find than ever. If you go into your car shopping knowing what you want but with a willing to be flexible in terms of model, you’ll be more likely to find a good deal on a reliable car you’ll love.

Tip: Occasionally, used cars sell for more than new ones – so do your research before making a purchase as the demand for used cars might make this occurrence slightly more common in 2012.

The key to finding a great used car in 2012, as in all years, is in the research: know what you want, have the car checked to make sure you’re buying a reliable vehicle, and choose carefully.