Experts Say Used Car Values Are At Historic Highs

Jim Donovan reports.

Video Transcript

JESSICA KARTALIJA: At the beginning of the pandemic, people were hoarding toilet paper and cleaning products. More recently, ketchup packets and chlorine have been in high demand. As supply chain shortages continue across the country, now even auto sales are being affected. In fact, as Jim Donovan found, if you've got a vehicle sitting around that you're not using, now maybe the time to sell it or trade it in.

JIM DONOVAN: Used car values are now at a record all time high.

JESSICA CALDWELL: People are definitely getting more for their trade in. In fact, if you have a car at home, I would say just check the value, see how much it's worth.

JIM DONOVAN: It's all due to a lack of supply and increased demand says Jessica Caldwell with the automotive site edmunds.com.

JESSICA CALDWELL: Dealers really need used cars right now. The market is really hot.

- And it stems from the pandemic. A shortage of microchips needed to build vehicles has slowed down production. Leaving less inventory at dealerships nationwide. Inventory of new trucks was down by 64% at the end of April compared to a year ago. SUV inventory down by 44%. Passenger cars down by 42%.

JESSICA CALDWELL: There has been lower sales rates, that means fewer in trade and the rental companies aren't giving out their cars. They're trying to get more cars so they're not selling any of the off rental type of vehicles. And then a lot of people that are leasing are choosing to extend the lease because they can't get another vehicle. So those who normally go into the used car pull.

JIM DONOVAN: As a result, used car prices have risen as buyers look for alternatives. So what's in demand? Pickups lead the pack some heavy duty pickups are holding 80% of their original value. Edmonds found that sports cars, SUVs, and all types of passenger cars aren't far behind in retaining their value. And while Edmonds surveyed three-year-old vehicles even models 10 years old and older have increased in value too. So--

JESSICA CALDWELL: John Roberts is definitely my advice, but just know that your car is definitely worth something.

JIM DONOVAN: You can get an idea of what your used vehicle is worth at a local dealership or by getting an appraisal online from sites like Edmonds or CarMax. Experts believe it will be a seller's market for at least the rest of the year to check out the top ranked used vehicles based on the retained value. Visit our website, cbsphilly.com. I'm Jim Donovan.