Used car prices dip -- but used SUV prices rise

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Used car prices came down a little bit in December but still remain well above what they were a year earlier.

Auto information company said Monday that the average price of a 3-year-old vehicle was $17,954 -- up $1,368, or 8.2%, from December 2009. The price was down $257 from November 2010.


Despite rising gas prices, December was a particularly good month for those selling used Chevy Suburban and other SUVs, said. Suburbans sold on average for $25,250, or 32.5% more than a year earlier.

Other vehicles with big used-price jumps included the Cadillac Escalade, up 32.2% to $32,643; the BMW X5, up 32.2% to $37,921; and the Chevy Tahoe, up 27.6% to $22,886.

‘Of all used vehicles, SUVs had the most to gain over the last two years. Used SUV prices had been remarkably low as a large volume of SUVs came off lease and flooded the used vehicle marketplace just as high gas prices depressed their values. Now, prices are up as used SUV supply is much tighter, especially for body-on-frame SUVs that are being produced in much smaller quantities,’ said Joe Spina, an analyst.


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-- Jerry Hirsch