As you might expect, the jump in used car sales is directly linked to the weakening economy. Used cars offer thousands in savings without much of a downside, leading many buyers to skip the new car showroom in favor of used car lots.
But as more and more people flock to quality used cars, prices are increasing - despite the down economy. Steve Jardine, a dealership owner in New York, told Newsweek that a 2006 Toyota 4Runner was selling for about $14,000 in November, but can now easily fetch $19,000. And with fewer new cars being sold, resulting in fewer used cars on the market, Jardine predicts used car prices "will go even higher".
However, if you currently own a late-model, low-mileage car, you could benefit from the recent market shift. Dealers are doing everything they can to secure quality used cars, even offering some owners a new car without increasing payments.