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CNBC Warns Consumers Against Rising Used-Car Prices

February 09, 2009

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Citing Adesa Inc. reports indicating that the used-car market "bottomed out" in October 2008, CNBC's Behind the Wheel blogger, Phil LeBeau, warned consumers that they can expect prices to rise as demand for used units continues to grow.

"For millions ... who do need a 'new' car or truck, it's not welcome news," LeBeau wrote Monday. "It means they will be paying more for a used ride. At a time when people are feeling squeezed, the rebound in used prices will put a little extra pressure on them."

Adesa reported an average auction price of $8,628 at the end of October, a figure that has trended upward since. The average price was $9,239 at the end of January, indicating to LeBeau and others that demand for quality pre-owned cars is increasing as fewer consumers are able to afford or qualify for financing a new-car purchase.

"I hear it from neighbors and friends," LeBeau wrote. "'I'd like to get a new car, but I'm not signing up for a new car auto loan.' People are spooked. Eventually, even the scared folks will find the itch for a new ride so great, they will go and look for it in the used-car market."

The full text of the article can be found here.

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