The Detroit News reports used small-car prices are plummeting right along with National Automobile Dealers Association study, which says gas prices have dropped an average of 3.5 percent compared to last year. In yet another shocking reminder of just how short buyers' memories can be, analysts predict light trucks will take home the largest share of car sales this month. Even so, used car sales in general are expected to fall off by around two percent. Truck sales, meanwhile, will likely only see a 1 percent dip.

Compare that to used compact and mid-sized models, which are expected to see their values drop by 2.4 percent. Dealers may have a hard time selling used hybrids in the coming months. That's good news for buyers who've been waiting to jump into a more fuel efficient model. After all, it's not a question of if gas prices will climb back up, but when.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 66 Comments
      untitledfolder
      • 2 Years Ago
      They want 21,583 for a used last-gen Cooper?? The used car market is out of control. I bought my 2011 Cooper S for 22,895 from MSRP 28,800... in other words, brand new with 3 packages for barely a grand more than some old used R53. WTF
        Travisty
        • 2 Years Ago
        @untitledfolder
        Not saying that use-car prices are outrageous (often more than new??), but who knows when that picture was taken... It could have been taken in '09 or '10, and it's just a random stock image that AB found and put in.
        micetree
        • 2 Years Ago
        @untitledfolder
        Just a hunch but it's probably an automatic as well.
        alphac2005
        • 2 Years Ago
        @untitledfolder
        I know what you're saying. I picked up a '12 Prius at 2500k below sticker. The same dealer had a used '11 with 30k miles for a grand less.
        micetree
        • 2 Years Ago
        @untitledfolder
        That S model happens to be a convertible 2008 model. Probably owned by an old lady that put the top down once.
        untitledfolder
        • 2 Years Ago
        @untitledfolder
        On second thought... it looks so much like an old Cooper, but it's supposedly a 2008 convert auto. It MIGHT be that much IF it's low mileage... I'd still take mine over it brand new in a heartbeat for a pittance more.
        FoxJ30
        • 2 Years Ago
        @untitledfolder
        It's because there are a LOT of people who hear 'used cars are better values, new cars depreciate as soon as they get off the lot!' And never bother to even look at new cars. I've seen multiple instances of this, and I've often pointed out that the new one only costs $1-2k more (after negotiation) than the one with 30k miles on it, has new tires, new battery, new interior, and most importantly, a full warranty...
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      lasertekk
      • 2 Years Ago
      Same mistakes, no lesson learned, until the next gas price spike and people are complaining of the poor mileage their pigs get.
      RocketRed
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really don't think that truck sales are driven by fuel prices. Maybe there is some difference in powertrains choices, but its not like a contractor is going to buy a fiesta because gas prices go up. There is also no clear mechanism linking used car prices to fuel prices per se. In fact, you would expect a used car of the same model to be less efficient than the new one, due to technological improvements. Were other variables controlled? Doesn't seem so. So none of this makes much sense. A lot of things have moved in lock step with other things. That doesn't establish causality by itself.
      desinerd1
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't think anyone buying a MINI would be worried about fuel price or mpgs. I know Autoblog has a permanent hard on for anything made by BMW, but can you please use something more representative, like Ford Fiesta, or Corolla
      cashsixeight
      • 2 Years Ago
      Plummeting gas prices? Where????
      Chris
      • 2 Years Ago
      Could it be because we haven't really had a "crisis" in a while? In this country, I would say fear and uncertainty over gas prices and the economy sells small cars as much as anything. When things like gas prices and the economy start to stabilize a bit, people generally tend to let their guard down and become a little less frugal. It's nothing new, and it is also no secret that Americans generally like larger vehicles. Whether it be the big "land yachts" of the 60s and 70s, the big luxury cars of the 80s, the SUVs of the 90s and 2000s, or the larger than ever family sedans and pickup trucks of today, big vehicles have been a constant present, in some form or another in this country. Some other contributing factors to this could be that larger vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient, while smaller cars have also become more prevalent in recent years.
      yyz
      • 2 Years Ago
      And then they can choke on their F-150s and Hummers when prices go above $4 again.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 2 Years Ago
      Never underestimate the lack of intelligence of the average American. Here in the U.S., small, fuel efficient cars are for chicks and "unmanly" men. Real Men (tm) drive big ole cars and big ole trucks. The bigger the better. It has nothing to do with true need, it's just how the perceptions go. The guy who says he needs the room and utility of a big truck would happily cram himself into a DB9 every day if given the chance.
        brian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        There are plenty of guys who have inadequacy issues in the US too - - The bigger the truck/engine, the smaller the penis.
          Sir Duke
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brian
          Okay jackass that is old and tired. I just checked, and my penis size hasn't changed. I've owned cars of all shapes and sizes. I never once bought a high performance car because of the state of my erection. I actually got laid the most when I was pushing around a 87 hp Toyota Corolla SR5. If you have any questions about my endowment, we could always let your mom be the judge.
          RJC
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brian
          Old and tired? As long as the shoe fits, people will continue to wear it. The inadequacy issues still apply.
          Chris
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brian
          You sound like you're speaking from personal experience there brian. :-) I am not a huge fan of the big trucks, or a lot of the people who drive them, but I don't know any other way of how one could even begin to come up with such a correlation between the size of one's truck and that of his pee-pee.
      transam
      • 2 Years Ago
      I dont think it has to do with short memories, it has to do with what buyers want. The reality is that the majority of Americans want trucks, SUVs, or large cars. Small cars will never appeal to a large part of the market. With two kids and an active lifestyle, weekend trips, summer vacations, and so on, a compact car just dosent cut it. Plus, this balloney that small engines mean more efficiency is not completely accurate. Americans want big cars, trucks, and SUVs, period.
        Synthono
        • 2 Years Ago
        @transam
        Two kids and an "active lifestyle" can manage just fine in a smaller car - my sister's family bought a Pontiac Vibe as a second car and it's their primary mode of transportation now. They thought they needed a larger car, and then realized they actually didn't.
          Rob Sweney
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Synthono
          Agreed - it's not like families in Europe are devoid of an active lifestyle, and yet somehow they manage with much smaller cars. Americans just undervalue efficiency because gas is relatively cheap, and they undervalue compactness because we have huge roads and tons of parking.
          Synthono
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Synthono
          There's also a marketing component: Larger cars and SUVs are more profitable, so companies need to give people reasons to move into them. The perception that you need a larger car if you've got a family or an active lifestyle is pushed pretty hard, especially in ads for your average SUV or minivan, because that's what gets butts in the seats. I know a few couples who rushed to buy an SUV the moment they found out they were having a baby, because that's what you have to do when you have a kid, right? Many of them have regretted that choice, realizing they didn't actually need an SUV or even a crossover after all.
        untitledfolder
        • 2 Years Ago
        @transam
        I think trend data shows they don't. Witness the birth of the CUV for more proof huge SUV's and cars are on their way out...
          transam
          • 2 Years Ago
          @untitledfolder
          The CUV is still larger and more practical than "small cars". I think a family is better served by an Equinox or Escape than by a Cruze or Focus. If gas prices went back down bellow $2, dealers would not be able to keep up with Suburban/Tahoe and the like sales.
          brian
          • 2 Years Ago
          @untitledfolder
          Larger? Sure More Practical? Most families have only a couple kids and don't take long road trips anymore - and the few times they need a larger vehicle, there's always the local rental counter - so a smaller vehicle for their day-to-day errands/commuting actually is more practical.
        cashsixeight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @transam
        I went kayaking last weekend, road biking on Monday, and mountain biking yesterday. Both cases were two bikes/kayaks. I have a 2000 Golf. Works fine, gets 30-35mpg. Whatever. PS: I tow my 400hp drag boat with a station wagon too.
      ngiotta
      • 2 Years Ago
      Gas prices are plummeting? Then why did it cost $4.50/gallon yesterday for my fill up?
        DriverSide
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ngiotta
        Because you probably live in California and the summer mix drives up the costs.
      Archr5
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd argue that the decline in value could also be related to the fact that you can get larger new cars with equal or better gas mileage than smaller used cars due to advances is engine design. Like my 305 horsepower 2012 V6 Mustang that gets 21mpg in the city and 30+ on the highway vs a 2004 ford focus that gets 22 city and 28 highway...
        Rob J
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Archr5
        That also leads to the "rebound effect". While we like to think that advancements in fuel efficacy will lead to less gas/oil used, the fact is that when people can go farther on a tank of gas or use the same amount, but with a bigger car, there will be little if no net decrease in consumption which is just going to keep driving up the price.
        Ty McLane
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Archr5
        Or my 89 Civic that gets 35-40mpg in city and highway without the garbage on a new vehicle? lol@better gas mileage.. your mustang still gets crap mileage.. and its a V6..
          anonymous guy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ty McLane
          Consider the fact that the new vehicles are required to burn very, very clean. There has to be a price paid somewhere for cleaner air and a loss in fuel efficiency is it. However, technology is helping to restore some of that lost fuel efficiency.
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