Consumers Beware: Used Car Prices Are on the Rise
Edmunds finds consumers shopping for used cars will be paying more than they did five years ago.

Consumers might want to think twice before purchasing that used car.

Automotive website Edmunds has found that consumers shopping for used cars will be paying more than they did five years ago.

"In the first quarter of 2018, the average transaction price for a used vehicle was $19,657. This reflects a 2.2% increase in sales prices from the first quarter of 2017 and a 17.6% increase from the first quarter of 2013," said the report from Edmunds, which was released Tuesday, June 12. "Edmunds experts attribute this increase to the ever growing supply of near-new vehicles coming off-lease and a greater demand for vehicles of all sizes and ages, thanks to shifting market factors."

Edmunds stated that the rising fuel costs in the first quarter caused some shoppers to switch to buying a car instead of an SUV or truck.

"Used-car shoppers are typically more price-sensitive to changes in the market, but this is the first time in years that we're seeing renewed demand for smaller vehicles," said Ivan Drury, senior manager of industry analysis at Edmunds. "With rising fuel costs breathing fresh air into this segment, subcompact and compact cars are finally retaining value again."

However, "rising fuel costs have yet to translate into a drop in residual values for SUV and trucks. Edmunds experts noted that there continues to be an abundance of shoppers who still place enough value on increased cargo capacity, ride height, and other SUV and truck features to bear the costs of lower fuel economy and higher price tags."

Edmunds warned that too could change if gas prices continue going higher.

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