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Buy Before Spring Market Peak
   Source: Kelley Blue Book

Kelley Blue Book Reports Used-Car Values to Jump 3 to 5 Percent in First Quarter, Remain High Most of 2012

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information, today reports that buyers in the market for a used car should purchase sooner rather than later, as Kelley Blue Book anticipates used-car values to increase 3 to 5 percent in the first quarter of 2012, with gains continuing into the second quarter. 

Values have been flat through the first two weeks of January; although, a handful of segments have started to increase earlier than originally anticipated.  Non-luxury cars and crossovers increased between $50 and $100 in the past week alone, and they will likely continue to rise in the weeks and months ahead.  A lull in lease returns and an aging fleet of vehicles on the road are expected to keep prices high through most of this year; potentially higher than the record levels established in 2011. 

Used-Car Values Show First Signs of Strength (MY09-11)



Trade-In Value







Mid-Size Car





Hybrid Car





Full-Size Car





Compact Crossover





Compact Car





Source: Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights





"Consumers eyeing one of the many highly acclaimed redesigned 2011 model-year vehicles for their next used car should be prepared to pay a significant premium," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book.  "For example, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and Kia Optima currently maintain a premium higher than 40 percent versus the 2010 model-year counterpart, significantly outperforming the Honda Accord and Toyota Corolla, which weren't redesigned for model-year 2011."



Trade-In Value







Redesigned for 2011

Chevrolet Cruze/Cobalt




No Redesign

Toyota Corolla




Redesigned for 2011

Kia Optima




No Redesign

Honda Accord




This type of premium is typical for vehicles that have recently undergone a major redesign, especially when the outgoing generation was an underperformer in its segment.  No matter what vehicle a shopper may have in mind, higher prices are the reality of today's market and used vehicles will only become more expensive and difficult to come by as time goes on.

SOURCE Kelley Blue Book

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