Used Car Prices Decline in May after Strong Spring

According to data from Black Book, five used car segments have resumed their price declines after a strong spring buying season, which is typically strong when shoppers purchase used vehicles with tax rebate money. Since the start of May, though, certain segments have made a significant reversal, which should continue over the next several months.

Entry mid-size car prices have declined 2.07% so far in May after prices stayed flat in April (-0.06%). Vehicles in this segment include the Chrysler 200, Ford Fusion, Volkswagen Jetta, Chevrolet Malibu, Buick Regal and Chrysler Sebring.

Entry-level cars have seen a 1.66% decline so far in May, following a 0.71% increase in prices during April. Vehicles in this segment include the Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Aveo, Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris.

Compact cars have dropped 1.05% this month after posting a 0.55% increase during April. Vehicles in this segment include the Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cobalt, Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus and Toyota Matrix.

“Several of the car segments have seen a noticeable drop in prices following the spring buying season due to a variety of factors that are economy- and demand-driven,” said Ricky Beggs, managing editor of Black Book. “With the buying season over, shoppers have turned to service vehicles like trucks, which are in demand from economy-driven construction projects.”

Here are the top five segments that have dropped the most in May compared with April prices:

Segment May April
Entry Mid-Size Car -2.07% -0.06%
Full-Size Car -1.70% -0.28%
Entry-Level Car -1.66% 0.71%
Upper Mid-Size Car -1.22% 0.03%
Compact Car -1.05% 0.55%

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