If you’re in the market for a used car, there’s a chance you’ll be paying more than you might think.
A combination of factors is pushing the price for compact and sub-compact cars higher for the first time in years, new industry reports suggest. In an evaluation of used car prices by the Associated Press this week, compact car pricing has risen from an average price of $12,958 in 2017 to $13,464 this year. While the jump is the first since 2013, it’s still below the average compact car price of $14,328 that year.
According to the report, compact used car buyers are responding to years of declining prices. They now see the compact cars’ low price as an attractive option and good value. That, combined with stagnating wages and higher gas prices, make shoppers think twice about paying for bigger and more expensive vehicles, according to the report.
While increasing prices could stymie some people from buying compact cars, the increasing demand driving the price changes is a resurgence of sort for the compact vehicle. In 2013, compact cars made up 50% of new car sales in the U.S., according to the AP. Now, trucks and SUVs account for two-thirds of all sales. And in the used car market, a similar scenario has played out, with SUVs overtaking the smaller vehicles.
Looking ahead, the industry experts the AP talked to believe things are looking up for compact cars. As gas prices continue to rise, used car buyers, who are generally eyeing value for their purchases, might find compact cars to be better options than most other vehicles.