KBB Market Report: Off Rental-fleet Vehicles Appreciated Most Year-to-date

Kelley Blue Book (KBB), a provider of new car and used car information, reported on Dec. 12 that vehicles typically found in high volume within rental fleet have appreciated most since the start of the year, as covered in the company's Blue Book Market Report for December 2011.

KBB’s analysis highlights that affordable buying opportunities remain available even in this supply constrained market through off rental-fleet vehicles.

The Kia Rio, Chevrolet Aveo and Chrysler PT Cruiser all increased more than 10% in value since January, while vehicles not typically found in rental fleet, including the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, are flat on a year-to-date basis due to maintaining relatively high values throughout the year.

Used-car values remain at historically high levels so as shoppers continue to seek affordable vehicles, rental fleet provides dealers and consumers a significant value proposition in today's economy.

"When the market heated up, dealers were looking for budget vehicles that met consumer financial and fuel-efficiency needs and these rental-fleet vehicles offered an incredible value when the market prices were high," said Alec Gutierrez, manager of vehicle valuation for Kelley Blue Book. "Overall, dealers can expect to save more than $2,000 when purchasing a three-year-old highly fleeted compact, while savings on a fleet-heavy crossover will only yield a modest $500."

With the unemployment rate at 8.6% and many homeowners still upside down on their mortgage, many families will likely consider a vehicle that was a prior rental, so KBB suggests that dealers consider bidding when a low-mileage rental unit becomes available at auction.

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