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Used car prices have cratered

… according to Barron’s magazine.

Hmmm… Maybe it is time to look for a new used truck.

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The syrupy commercials from the Ford dealer say it all. They do not have “customers”; only “friends and family”.

That’s why you can buy sight unseen with free delivery and through their massive benevolence offer 84 month financing and no payments for 180 days.

At least John Dillinger was a bit more subtle.

Makes me feel good about my recent decision to keep driving my 2012 Camry. Until rust rears it’s ugly head, it suits my needs as well as any 2020. And when it goes, I will have my son find me a nice rust free car in Florida. I just don’t drive enough miles to justify buying new anymore.

I just ended negotiations with a local dealer for a used car I was interested in. He’d had the car since end of January and I fought him tooth and nail to come off the list price any. After several days we couldn’t meet on the price/terms, and I walked away.

He needed to sell the car a lot worse than I needed to buy it. Hopefully he’ll read the article above.

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A local dealership conglomerate has a television commercial pushing their older trade ins(<$10,000) which they say they are retailing themselves to benefit local buyers but somewhere in the situation I suspect that they have had to bring a few cars back from auction and desperately need to move them.

10% isn’t enough, waif for 30%, then pounce. My daughter needed a car in 2011 to drive to her student teaching schools. She mentioned it in early 2009. When the bottom fell out of the market and new car dealerships started closing, I began looking for bargains. A nearby Chevrolet dealer was liquidating their new car stock. I noticed they had a Cobalt LT with a list price of $18,500 for sale at $11,800, about a grand below the other LTs on the lot. I asked about it, and the salesman said that Chevy wouldn’t take that one back because it had more than 400 miles on it. Hence the lower price. We had a lot of GM bucks and cashed them all in. The sale price was about $8500 - eight thousand five hundred. I couldn’t help myself, I had to buy it. The owner of that dealership lost a lot of money, but he has several other dealerships. Still, he had to sell his 100’ yacht. One man’s woes are another’s opportunity.

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If you plan on keeping car for 10yrs then no interest 84 month financing sounds good? Now, if you can get it for less then list it’s even better

Bad for the dealership owners, good for the buyers. I wonder how the used car prices on the private seller market are doing

If the used car market is in the tank for the dealers it is for private sellers as well. Why would anyone pay more off the private market if the dealer was selling a similar model for 10, 20 or 30 percent less? Bottom line, they won’t.

that’s always where I fail… lol

Good story on Friday’s Marketplace about the car market, reported by Jack Stewart (not that one, but he is Scottish)

This is incorrect, for the simple reason that most private-party transactions are for vehicles worth $5,000 and less. Few people have clear title to a vehicle worth much more than that, and even fewer are willing and able to withdraw much more than that in cash to pay some stranger for an “as-is” sale. In fact, if you look on Craigslist, the overwhelming majority of private-party used cars are in the $2-5k range.

I do not believe that used cars which are currently worth $5k or less are going to depreciate much, if at all, due to the economic collapse. They certainly did not during the previous economic collapse. Banks certainly got hammered on lease returns, as well as on repos of financed vehicles, but those were originally worth many times this amount.

I’m gonna disagree with that statement. A quick Google search of “used cars for sale by owner” got me this list in my zip code from Autotrader.

Note how many entries are higher than $5000. Some much higher. All private sales. Craigslist is generally for older cars that owners don’t want to pay for a listing so the cars will be cheaper and sketchier.

I agree the sub $5K cars won’t drop much in price. But these higher priced cars will. Maybe not at first… because people are stubborn. But the market dictates the price, not the seller. When the market price for a car drops 10 - 20% at the dealer, it will eventually drop at the private market.

If the car still has a note, and if the seller is upside down and won’t drop their price, they won’t find a buyer. The buyer will head to the dealer to get the better price. At that point the seller either keeps the vehicle or ponies up the cash to cover the rest of the loan. Depends on the sellers motivation. do they WANT to sell the car or do they HAVE to sell the car.

If the seller is not upside down, they will take a hit in their equity. Again, the market dictates the price, not the seller.


It is pretty much like anything economic, unpredictable. I should have been in the market for a used car now, probably a CPO Tucson. Holding off for various reasons, from being too buys, not wanting to expose myself to unnecessary risk (I would not buy a car without test drive/etc), and unknown future for the market. To make things complicated, the reason for this purchase was both kids going off to school this fall. At this point with the situation for the dorms and schools, even that is questionable. So, sitting tight for now.

If you find one you like on line, you might get a solo test drive. Some dealers allow a return if you don’t want the car after all. This is much easier to arrange on a CPO car.

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With all due consideration for keeping on the automobile topic I have for years watched and wondered how this country could continue to roll along down a hill of liquidity and wonder if this pandemic might include the final straw to break the camel’s back. The roads today are filled with parked cars, many upside down financially in front of homes in similar financial situations with the debtor at the address furloughed, 30 to 90 past due on all debts including a crippling sum on credit cards.

We had an enormous national debt on Jan 1, 2020, about $22trillion I believe and so far this pandemic has poured an additional $2.5 trillion on while putting DGP into negative territory with most automobile manufacturers idled along with much of the healthcare industry. The local Toyota factory is sponsoring huge food bank giveaways in the 3 county area where its work force lives and has continued to pay most workers but how long can that continue?

I surely won’t live to see the end of this pandemic’s financial undoing of an already failing economy but hopefully my kids will and hopefully they will find some financial security, peace and happiness in the near future with some significant changes in the economic structure in this country. The WINNER TAKES ALL and HE WHO HAS THE GOLD MAKES THE RULES situation cannot continue or soon the pitchforks will come out.


Speaking of furloughs . . .

Our fleet will also get furloughed . . . apparently a 10% reduction in hours worked . . . as per our mayor

This will not devastate me financially, and I’ll still be able to pay my mortgages and my bills . . .

But this would not be the time for me to buy a car, used or new

I believe this would be the time to maintain what you’ve got . . . house(s), car(s), health, marriage, etc. . . . instead of trading in the old for the new


I enjoyed the business that developed during 3 economic downturns while operating a shop @db4690. The customers and friends of customers who were responsible and aware of economic situations always anticipated coming problems and I would suddenly have a great increase in cars being left with instructions to check them out and advise what was needed to keep them running for the foreseeable future. Of course those peoples’ cars were well maintained and a few minor repairs and earlier than necessary brake jobs and tune ups etc was usually all that was needed. And while it’s no secret to many regulars here there are a great many people driving cars 6 to 10 years and often older who could write a check for any car they wanted. In fact I would say that if an 8 year old “middle income” type car is seen on the road in like new appearance it is possible that the owner could go home and enjoy life and never work again if he chose to.


Glad to hear @db4690 that by living within your means, you would be able to weather this storm.

I forgot to mention, one other reason I am not buying now, is financial considerations.

You would think being in a field in healthcare that we are busy as hell, I would have financial security; wrong. As busy as we are, the field of healthcare is loosing money like crazy due to this pandemic. The cost of care for the patients is through the roof, insurance premiums are disappearing because people are loosing their jobs and lucrative medical procedures are on hold with some employees getting paid to do stare at he wall. So, as I say, I have job security but no financial security.

I have enough savings to get by for a while, but not sure how deep this sinkhole is.