A better economy means more sales of new cars, and rising prices. Smart buyers look to the used lots.NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With the economy inching forward, the new car market gathers strength and buying a vehicle gets more expensive. According to an Edmunds.com look at October, new vehicle sales are up 10% on a year-to-year basis, with American auto giants Ford ( F) and General Motors ( GM) garnering 35% of the global auto sales market (16% and 19% of the total market for October, respectively). But some auto buyers are seeing lower prices and wider options -- by focusing on used vehicles. lowest prices since 2009, Edmunds.com says. The average used car price in the third quarter of 2013 clocked in at $15,617, the lowest since the third quarter of 2009, when prices stood at $14,808. Prices have really slid since 2011, Edmunds points out, when used cars and trucks sold, on average, at $16,473. It's a matter of inventory. With more interest in new cars as the economy improves, that leaves more used vehicles idling at dealerships and lower sticker prices as dealers cut prices. HMC), Toyota ( TM) and Lexus -- and you'll pay more. Edmunds says those brands are in the highest demand and are moving quickly, even at higher prices.