Used hybrid-electric vehicle prices jumped six percent in February, Kelley Blue Book said, adding that used hybrids and fuel-efficient compact cars could see a 20 percent hike in resale values this year.

The average auction value of a hybrid car was $16,974 as of March 2, up $960 from four weeks earlier. Prices for 2010 Toyota Prius hybrids climbed almost $1,400 last month. While prices for hybrids, compacts and subcompacts were all down in early February, values picked up towards the end of the month.

Americans appear to be responding to surging gas prices by buying used fuel-efficient cars. Average regular gas prices jumped by more than 20 cents a gallon in February to about $3.80 a gallon, according to AAA.

Earlier this month, Kelley published a list of cars that cost less than $30,000 to own during the first five years of ownership when factoring in depreciation, repairs and fueling costs. Just one hybrid – the Honda Insight – made that list, while the 14 other models all had conventional powertrains. Those models included compacts such as the Nissan Versa, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta.
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Kelley Blue Book: Used Compact, Hybrid Car Values on the Rise, Could Repeat 20 Percent Gains of 2011

March Blue Book Market Report Advises Dealers to Stock Used Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Inventory Sooner Rather Than Later

IRVINE, Calif., March 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information, today reports that used compact-car values are on the rise and could reach the same 20 percent gains seen in 2011. According to Kelley Blue Book's Book Market Report for March 2012 (http://mediaroom.kbb.com/blue-book-market-report/), values of used fuel-efficient compacts increased a modest 0.4 percent in February; however, values picked up significant momentum during the last weeks of the month. In the last week of February, used compacts increased 1.3 percent, while hybrid cars increased a more substantial 3.6 percent.

Used Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Values Begin to Climb

Change for Week Ending:

Auction Values

Segment

Feb 10

Feb 17

Feb 24

Mar 2

Feb 3

Mar 2

Total Change

Hybrid Car

-1.1%

1.8%

1.6%

3.6%

$16,014

$16,974

6.0%

Compact Car

-1.2%

0.1%

0.3%

1.3%

$12,229

$12,286

0.5%

Subcompact Car

-0.9%

-0.5%

0.2%

0.7%

$11,124

$11,071

-0.5%


Note: All changes reflect values of MY09-11 vehicles

"The 2010 Toyota Prius led in gains, increasing in value $1,370 through the month of February," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. "Dealers have been aggressively bidding on fuel-efficient vehicles at auction as consumer demand increases in response to rising gas prices. If the past is any indication of things to come, Kelley Blue Book could see values of used fuel-efficient vehicles increase more than 20 percent during the course of the next few months."

In 2011, fuel-efficient vehicle values reached record levels in response to gas prices approaching $4.00 per gallon, and if fuel prices continue on their current trajectory, Kelley Blue Book expects to see a similar trend this year. Values of fuel-efficient vehicles will only remain elevated as long as fuel prices remain high, so if fuel prices were to ease, expect values to return to normal levels. Kelley Blue Book advises dealers to stock up on inventory sooner rather than later, since values likely will increase sharply during the next 30 to 60 days.

The monthly Blue Book Market Report explores the state of the automotive industry by analyzing Kelley Blue Book® Auction Values. The report also discusses developments in residual values and trends in monthly used-car shopper activity on kbb.com. If you would like to subscribe to the monthly Blue Book Market Report, please e-mail pr@kbb.com.

For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com, visit www.kbb.com/media/, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kelleybluebook (or @kelleybluebook), or like our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kbb.

About Kelley Blue Book ( www.kbb.com )
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. Kbb.com provides consumer pricing and information on minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader.com.

SOURCE Kelley Blue Book


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      Real MEN with High Levels of Testosterone do More Long Term Planning, [ then wimpy right wingers ]. This is a Scientific Fact. Just heard it on WBEZ Science Podcast "Clever Apes". So, you would have thought that the chest pumping on the right was more masculine, and you would have been wrong. Go figure.
        BigJ
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Ford Future
        I don't know about being a wimpy right winger, but I'm very conservative by most measures and I long term planning is exactly why I purchased a Prius last year. Funny, conservatives talk long term planning when it comes to finance/spending and liberals talk long term planning when it comes to energy/sustainability. I'll truly embrace the first party that values both.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Right-wing nuts and tea-bagging losers are spineless, malleable lemmings. They're good at following orders, but have no leg to stand on.
          EZEE
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Nick
          Tell us how you really feel.... Personally, I try to be open minded about other people's beliefs, but that is just me, I guess.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is reason why I often point out that EVs are probably not as bad as a deal as many people think. As gas prices rise (which they will inevitably because supply is weakening and demand is growing), cars that are gas guzzlers will lose value and cars that don't use lots of gasoline will not go down in value as fast. The depreciation on a Leaf, Volt, Prius, etc. will be much less than the depreciation on a Suburban, Crown Vic, Camaro, etc. Unfortunately, it is a difficult factor to conclusively prove and measure so it generally doesn't get taken into consideration.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        "Actually the 3 cars you mentioned will probably keep their value pretty well." That actually gives more weight to Spec's argument. Those cars have fairly low depreciation... and the depreciation on a Leaf, Volt, Prius, by comparison might be much lower in a high gasoline priced future. In my opinion, it will not be a surprise if the EVs coming out today, depreciate normally for a year or two... then when gasoline prices spike... the value of a 2 year old EV will shoot back up to the original MSRP. 0% depreciation under certain limited conditions (depending on the rate of gasoline price inflation). I haven't heard of a gasoline car yet that did that (excluding antiques which take decades to re-appreciate).
          throwback
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Limited edition exotics generally have 0% depreciation or appreciate. A Ferrari Enzo for example. those are about the only ones, although for a while early second gen Prius had 0% depreciation.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Limiting supply is the cheating way to appreciate value. That is why the Ty Corporation exists. Beanie Babies are the ultimate experiment in psychology. I was talking about Real Value. As in, the same value even if the vehicle is still being produced. The "Limited Edition" value factor is purely for the Ego... and not a reflection of actual usefulness. But I suppose that is the real reason why Antiques re-appreciate value... because not only does the manufacturer NOT make them anymore... but nobody makes cars like them anymore. So they are limited both in model AND style.
        throwback
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Actually the 3 cars you mentioned will probably keep their value pretty well. Camaro's are an emotional buy and Suburbans are very popular for folks who tow. GM also is building much fewer. The Crown Vics are being snapped up by Livery services. I think the vehicles that will take the biggest hits are the mid size crossovers (Edge, Pilot, Highlander etc) and even the larger ones, Buick Enclave etc. Those vehicles are sold as getting "good" gas mileage but most are well over 4000 lbs. If Tesla can execute on building high quality vehicles the Model X has a chance to easily outsell the Model S.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @throwback
          Whatever. I doubt livery people are going to keep going for the Crown Vic since they are going to be losing money they could have made. A new Camaro may be an emotion buy someone else's old guido Camaro? Pffft. But if you don't like those Pick 3 other gas guzzlers of your choice.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @throwback
          @spec I have spoken to many people in the taxi biz. Besides the trunk size, they like the Corwn Vic due to durability. Many times they would get 500,000 miles, to close to a million. Also, you notice how many are immigrant drivers? For the independents, they are many times from God Forsaken parts of the planet, which is actually good. They go out and find parts, and either fix, or have friends fix their cars for them. The Vic has years and years of parts. None are thrilled with the gas mileage, so you are right there,but long term durability is the issue. Oddly, many were PISSED when ford stopped with the CNG models, although I forget why.
        mapoftazifosho
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Eh, idk about Camaro. No matter the gas prices...Camaro, Mustang and the Wrangler just love to hold value...
      mdt
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's good news! High fuel prices promote better use of resources. Even at $4+/gallon ($1+/liter), we're paying too little for gas/diesel in the States. Maybe if we're real lucky it will lead to scrapping all the Hummers, Escalades, Tahoes, and Avalanches here!
      Dave D
      • 2 Years Ago
      No worries, in a couple of months we'll forget that it's stupid to buy gas guzzlers and jack the price of used F250's back through the roof and spurn hybrids. it's what we do as a species of morons.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Yes, broadly we will. But wise people will still make the right decision and then laugh later when gas prices rise again.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Petrol has just gone up, and is to get a tax rise in August here in the UK. It will be about $8 US gallon. You have to be really stupid to buy a gas guzzler here, but there are plenty of candidates.
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          DaveMart What's the typical gas bill for a year of driving? If it's $3000 in the U.S......it must be a lot higher in the UK, no?
      mapoftazifosho
      • 2 Years Ago
      We're like cats chasing a laser...
      Rob Mahrt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hopefully this holds. My car, Honda CR-Z, 1 year old with 14,500 miles, still has a private party kbb value equal to the price I paid at a dealer got to love that value.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is actually great for me. I get bored with my cars every year or two and swap out for another. Great time to buy something that eats gas like a truck or van. My Nissan 200SX is about to appreciate in it's used value. I will make money selling it, and also buy the moving vehicle for dirt cheap. When i am done using the moving vehicle, i'll sell it and probably get my $ back or more when the gas prices go down. It's quite hilarious how short sighted people are. This only works in your favor if 90% of your miles are on a bicycle :)
      Roy_H
      • 2 Years Ago
      The real market for economy cars, hybrids, and EVs is in the cost conscious low wage earners. We cannot buy a new car and so are stuck with what ever we can find on the used market. People who can afford new cars don't generally care as much about economy, but want room, luxury, maybe towing capacity etc. There is a huge demand for economical cars, just not for new economical cars. So how do car manufacturers access this market? I'm thinking that maybe M-Bs Car-to-Go is the new model. They are making a huge success of what I think is a relatively horrible little car the Smart4Two. The point is that the people who rent these cars don't care how good it is, just that they can get from A to B in the most convenient economical way.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Roy_H
        Fuel inefficient cars hit new car buyers through depreciation. A lot of oil experts are predicting $4.25/gallon by the end of April. Watch the s/h values of SUVs etc plummet if that happens.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Roy_H
        Roy_H " There is a huge demand for economical cars, just not for new economical cars." Wrong, Toyota & Co have been selling mega-million units of cheap new Corollas, Yaris etc.. which are some of the most economical cars ever made.
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