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Average Used Car Price Hit Nearly $27,000 Last Year

You were in for sticker shock if you shopped for a used car during the second half of 2021.

According to Cox Automotive data, the average used car sold for $26,910 last year. Used car prices smashed records beginning in May when the effects of the semiconductor chip shortage and various supply chain issues intersected with rapidly rising demand.

Consumers were slow to buy cars in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the economy, though used car prices typically hovered between about $19,000 and $20,000 on average that year.

In spring 2021, with a rebounding economy and considerable pent-up demand, new cars figurately flew off of dealership lots, leading to increased demand for used vehicles. Used car values rocketed upward, breaking record after record.

Cox Automotive analysts reported an average price of $31,275 for used cars in December 2021 — yet another new record and about where the average new car landed back in 2015. A month before, the average asking price of a used car was $27,569.

Meanwhile, new car prices ratcheted upward at a similar rate, cresting $47,000 in December. Analysts attribute that figure to minimal discounts due to limited vehicle inventories on dealership lots and a general shift away from sedans toward costlier SUVs and pickups. See used cars for sale

Andrew Ganz
Andrew Ganz
Andrew Ganz is an author specializing in helping in-market consumers get the most bang for their buck -- and the best car, while they're at it. When not virtually shopping for new and used cars, Andrew can probably be found under the hood of a vintage classic that's rapidly losing fluids.

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