Redesigned Mid-Size Cars Make For Cheaper Used Cars
As new and improved 2013s arrive, look for deals on used car lots.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: October 18th, 2012
"Some of the design
and tech for 2013 is tremendous. This will impact prices for late-model used cars"
—Ricky Beggs,managing editor of Black Book
or the first time in many years, auto makers are paying extra attention to the mid-size car segment. That's the segment with all the boring cars—the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord, the Ford Fusion, the Nissan Altima, and the Hyundai Sonata. They're the sensible and reliable but unsexy cars, and it's that very perception that car makers are hoping to change by offering major updates to styling, technology, and performance. One side-effect of this, according to Black Book managing editor Ricky Beggs, is that as brand-new mid-size cars become more attractive, prices for used mid-size cars are certain to drop.
And if the reason why redesigned new cars would result in cheaper used cars doesn't seem obvious, that's because it isn't. There are several factors at work, some economic, some psychological. Put simply, if used-car shoppers think they can get a much better car for just a little more money, they're more likely to opt for a new car.
"Some of the design and technology for 2013 is tremendous," Beggs told us in a recent interview. "This will impact prices for late-model used cars, since traditional used-car shoppers looking looking to buy mid-size cars will take a closer look at the new models instead."
Beggs told us that he's already starting seeing this in the used-car market, even before the newly spruced up Malibus, Fusions, Accords, and Altimas hit dealer showrooms. "Late-model cars are getting less attention at auction," Beggs said.
Another factor driving used car prices down is that since the quality of cars has improved over the past decade, owners aren't trading in their old cars until they have close to 150,000 miles on them. And even though 150,000 really is the new 100,000 in terms of how much life is left in the cars, buyers will expect to pay less for such high-mileage used-cars.
Whatever the reasons, it's a situation that's win-win for dealers. If Beggs' predictions are correct, they'll be selling more new cars, thanks to improvements in styling and quality, and more used cars, thanks to the decrease in prices.