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Lower Used Car Prices Mean Savings for Buyers

2010 Jeep Wrangler
(Chrysler Group LLC)

There’s good news for used car shoppers. After years of high prices, used car prices are now the lowest they’ve been in four years, according to Edmunds.com.   

“Now that the new car market has hit its stride, buyers are no longer drawn to used cars the way they have been in recent years,” Edmunds.com's Director of Used Car Analysis Joe Spina says in a statement. “Used car prices will likely continue to decline in the coming months simply because there will be more of these vehicles sitting on dealer lots.”

[How to Buy a Used Car]

Shoppers who bought a used car at a franchise dealership in July, August and September paid an average price of $15,617, according to Edmunds.com. This average price paid is 0.9 percent less than the same months in 2012 and 2.8 percent less than what buyers paid in April, May and June. “At their peak, used car prices averaged $16,473 in the second quarter of 2011,” Edmunds.com reports.

Drivers are replacing their older vehicle with a new one, thanks to an increase in financing approvals for shoppers with lower credit scores and good new car prices and incentives. This is leading to more inventory on used car lots, which helps bring prices down.

[Financing a Used Car]

USA Today reports that used car inventory could continue to increase in 2014, which could help drive prices down further. “Prices may go even lower next year as more new-car buyers trade in their jalopies and more used cars with expiring leases show up on lots.”

As you shop for a used car, don’t forget to research the fair market value of the vehicle you’re considering and have your mechanic inspect the vehicle before you buy. If buying a used car makes you nervous, take a look at certified pre-owned models, which go through a more rigorous inspection process and come with a warranty. Many certified pre-owned models have low interest rate financing offers, so check with your dealer to see if there are any incentives that can help you save money.

[How to Test Drive a Used Car]

In the market for a used car? Check out the U.S. News Used Car Rankings. Then, look for a great deal on a used vehicle by checking out this month’s best used car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  

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