The cynic in you might think that a rise in the price of used vehicles, just as new car sales are cratering worse than anyone can remember, is a not-so-transparent ploy to overcharge buyers. It turns out to be more a case of supply versus demand. Wholesale used car prices are bumping up as a result of sagging new car sales, according to auto auction company Manheim. Two-thirds of new car sales have a trade-in attached, which creates a supply stream of pre-owned vehicles to recycle onto dealer lots. With sales so far down, trades are harder to come by, so those cars that are available are fought over more fiercely. The wholesale price rise indicates that dealers are duking it out harder at auctions, more than saying anything about prices consumers are paying. It's our suspicion, looking at how long everyone's inventory is sitting around, that anyone able to buy right now can virtually write their own deal.

[Source: Auto News - Sub Req.]