Accordingly, many are turning to used cars instead. That, in turn, has driven up used car prices.
Lightly used vehicles — those that are a couple of years old with low mileage — are now selling for 75% to 80% of their original sticker price, said Ivan Drury, an auto industry analyst with Edmunds.com. As recently as 2019, a more normal year, those cars would have been going for 65% to 70% of their original price.
“If somebody has a second or third or fourth vehicle or whatever that they’re not using, they can definitely capitalize on that right now,” said David Paris, a vehicle valuation analyst with J.D. Power.
Keep in mind that you probably won’t get 70% of the vehicle’s original price from a dealer, said Drury. “But, at the same time, it’s a huge indicator that there’s a lot of value there.”
A dealer that buys your used vehicle has to leave some room to make a profit after reconditioning and marketing it. The key is figuring out how to maximize the value in your vehicle.