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Used-Car Shoppers See Some Relief as Prices Tumble

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Pandemic-fueled demand for used cars pushed prices higher than expected during the last few years, but now shoppers in the market for a previously owned vehicle are getting some relief. Prices for used cars and trucks dropped 2% in November and 3% in December, with average used car prices down more than $1,000 at year-end, according to a survey from ISeeCars.com, a car-shopping website. And the make seeing the biggest drop? Tesla.

Helping to fuel Tesla's tumble was the average price for its Model 3, which fell 17% in the September-December period, though prices for other electric vehicles didn't follow suit. Stickers for the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and Prius Prime jumped 20% year-over-year. And though the crazy pricing for both new and used cars might be cooling, it doesn't mean they've fallen below 2020 prices.


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“We’re still a long way from ‘normal’ but there are clear signs the elevated prices of the past 2-plus years are coming to an end,” said Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars. “It was easy to predict, given the macroeconomic factors we’ve seen over the past 6 months. With everything from inflation to interest rates hitting peak numbers there was no way the upward pressure on car values could continue. The next big question is: How far and how fast will car prices fall?”

The Top 10 cars with the biggest price drops from September through December:

  1. Tesla Model 3: $8,822 less (-16.8%).
  2. Nissan Kicks: $2,718 less (-11.9%).
  3. Ford Mustang: $3,495 less (-11.5%).
  4. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid: $2,527 less (-11%).
  5. Toyota RAV4: $2,766 (-8.9%).
  6. Jaguar E-Pace: $3,052 less (-8%).
  7. GMC Acadia: $2,590 less (-7.7%).
  8. Ford Ecosport: $1,515 less (-7%).
  9. Toyota Camry: $1,912 less (-7%).
  10. Audi SQ5: $3.228 less (-6.8%).

Though some of these price cuts seem dramatic, the average drop for all used cars wasn't as significant — just -0.6%, or $214.

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