IRVINE, Calif. — In response to rising fuel prices, Kelley Blue Book said today that used, compact-car values could realize the same 20 percent gains seen in 2011. 

According to vehicle information site’s Book Market Report for March 2012, values of used, fuel-efficient compacts increased a modest 0.4 percent in February, but noted that values picked up significant momentum during the last weeks of the month.  In the last week of February, used compacts increased 1.3 percent, while hybrid cars increased a more substantial 3.6 percent.

"The 2010 Toyota Prius led in gains, increasing in value by $1,370 through the month of February," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst for the site. "Dealers have been aggressively bidding on fuel-efficient vehicles at auction as consumer demand increases in response to rising gas prices. If the past is any indication of things to come, Kelley Blue Book could see values of used, fuel-efficient vehicles increase more than 20 percent during the course of the next few months."

In 2011, fuel-efficient vehicle values reached record levels in response to gas prices approaching $4 per gallon. If fuel prices continue on their current trajectory, Kelley Blue Book said it expects to see a similar trend this year. The site advised dealers to stock up on inventory sooner rather than later, since values likely will increase sharply during the next 30 to 60 days.

Used Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Values Begin to Climb





Change for Week Ending:

Auction Values



Feb 10

Feb 17

Feb 24

Mar 2

Feb 3

Mar 2

Total Change

Hybrid Car








Compact Car








Subcompact Car








Note: All changes reflect values of MY09-11 vehicles