Used car prices up 30 percent in three years – Cash-for-clunkers

I’m not implying the 30 percent increase in the average price of a used car is a direct result of the Obama administration’s Cash-for-Clunkers program, but it certainly is a factor, and nobody is mentioning it.

I’ve heard a few stories about used car prices the past day or so and the Associated Press is reporting prices are at their highest in 16 years.

People are holding on to cars and trucks for about a year longer than they did before the recession, which has created a tight supply of used vehicles. So few are on the market that prices have risen to their highest level in at least 16 years.

Dealers are paying an average of $11,660 for a used car or truck, up almost 30 percent since December 2008.

The recession is a factor, inflation and the change in the value of the dollar is a factor. Owners holding on to their cars an extra 9.5 months is a factor, but that may not be a direct result of the economy.

Why are these reports – and I’ve seen a few – mentioning Cash-for-Clunkers? The 2009 program took almost $3 billion of inventory off the market completely. That was about 700,000 cars and certainly that has to be a factor in the 30 percent price jump since late 2008.

I’ve looked for information on what happened to the used car parts market after Cash-for-Clunkers, but did not find anything. I’m willing to bet the cost of used parts for many of the cars that were destroyed has gone up quite a bit too.

So much for recycling.

Who does this hurt the most?

5 replies
  1. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Three months ago I sold my fine used car for far, far less than the average $11,660 mentioned above. I wonder how that large used care figure came about.

  2. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    My ’02 Mazda PU would also sell for far less than the average $11,660, but it’s a typical New England rust bucket!  [Edited by Admin. Kind of childish…]

  3. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    Don’t kid yourself…the cash for clunkers program was just step one in Obama’s plan that includes pushing crappy vehicles like the Volt down peoples’ throats…that and $4+/gallon gas…and high speed rail…increase the ethanol in gasoline which will destroy older cars’ engines…
    Take away the choice to own a reliable, older used car by driving up the price because supply is low and demand high and it’s a win/win for this administration.  And as for who it’s hurting the most?  Young kids who need a car to get to work (if they can find a job), and people who don’t have the credit to get a car loan to buy new.  Guess it sucks to be middle class or poor with Obama at the helm.

  4. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Winnie is right: the poor and the young take it on the chin (or lower) once again with liberal programs that purport to be helping them.  Of course, since their critical thinking capabilities were never nurtured, they will be proud, car less, progressive prole voters for Øbama.  They’ve gone from cutting off their noses to spite their faces, to cutting their own throats.
     
    Cash for clunkers also benefit the Chinese, as alluded to above, in that they will have an increased market for replacement parts now that the junkyards have been starved.   More help for Americans…

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