LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Customers headed to used car lots are still experiencing a sense of sticker shock. Even though used car prices are down from a year ago, they are still way higher than pre-pandemic levels.
The average price of a used car is up 48% since 2019. Karl Brauer with auto sales website iSeeCars says it dates back to the pandemic-related supply chain issue that led to a new car shortage.
“Now those new cars are used cars. Those are limited in the used car space. So it’s just maintaining these high used car prices,” Brauer said.
The biggest price hikes are among some of the most popular cars on the market. The Dodge Ram 1500 pickup is $15,000 more expensive than it was in 2019. The Toyota Camry is up $8,000.
When paying so much for a used car, doesn’t it make sense to just buy a new car?
“In many instances for buyers, depending on their budget and what they really need, a new car does make more sense,” Brauer said.
That’s because the typical loan rate for a new car is 7.4%, much lower than a used car. But new cars are more expensive overall, with an average price of just under $48,000.
Experts say buyers who want a good deal need to be flexible. Being willing to choose from a wide range of vehicles will give you more power to negotiate.