People fighting over new cars while older used cars languish on the market

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I’ve been watching the new car market all year long. People are obviously paying too much for new and a few year old vehicles of all types.

The interesting thing about this is the glut of cheap older cars still on the market. Im talking about 10+ years old they are just going for nothing even with plenty of lifespan left. It’s not like there is just nothing to drive. There is not enough $100k luxury SUVs to go around, but for 5-10k you can choose from dozens and dozens.

Is this related to the financing and the aggressive used flippers like Vroom/Carmax/ect bidding up the prices? It is harder to get loaned on an older vehicle with miles.

Are people that prideful that they simply cannot fathom driving an older but still good vehicle?

I recently bought a nice 06 Yukon, the first one i looked at and they took my lower offer instantly, glad to send it down the road. Looking again today theres tons of yukon tahoe escalades for sale all very affordable in the 05-06 range. Stepping to 07 and up body style, that doesnt look as old yet has arguably worse quality and the prices double or more.

We all know those old Camry are solid and go for nothing.

Toyota trucks and wranglers are consistently overpriced like usual.

Minivans that are older are very cheap. Theres a big waiting list for a nice new Sienna in the 40-55k price range after add on fees while perfectly good used ones rot on the market for $5k.

Anyone else notice this or is Utah just too dang rich to bother with these older vehicles?
Around here prices are way high even on the mid 2000s GM's. Compared to a newer truck they're cheap but I'm not used to a 15-20 year old vehicle being $10,000-15000 in good shape or $5000 for a complete pile of junk.
 
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Exactly. Lately what I really want is an older Tahoe or Suburban but they're either ready for the junkyard or $10k+
We don't even have rental trucks available around here. One of the company trucks needed work and they called around.... nothing available anywhere so the owner had to give up his truck for the day.
I don't want to jinx it but my 2005 Silverado had never taken an unscheduled day off needing repair....but I really wish I had a backup in case that happens.
 

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01rangerxl

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The abundance of good used cars must be a Utah thing. It doesn't seem to be the case in the Southeast. Around here most vehicles over 10 years old are either in rough condition or overpriced. You actually have to go outside of Birmingham to find any kind of good deal on a used vehicle most of the time.

It also does require some level of willingness to fix things and deal with imperfections, which isn't what most people just looking for transportation want to do, and is completely understandable. After my 94 4 door Explorer was wrecked last September, all I could find locally was a high mileage 97 Explorer that was $1500 taxes and all from a dealer that just buys stuff at auction and turns it as quickly as possible, no clean up. It still had auction stickers. It had an engine I didn't really want, and needed work, but due to my familiarity with the platform and the fact nothing else I wanted was available, I bought it. I immediately bought tires, had the front suspension redone, and pretty much overhauled the cooling system. It has been a great truck for the last year and 14k miles, and I love it, but most people don't want to do all that just to drive a 24 year old Explorer with a crunched fender and almost 230k miles, even with an almost like new interior and everything working. Had someone just bought it and drove it without doing the work I did, it would have been in Pull-A-Part pretty quickly.

I kept looking since I still wanted a 91-94, and even went out of state to look at one that was kind of a letdown. I finally found one I wanted in July an hour and a half away for $2500, pretty much dropped what I was doing to go get it. I put tires on it immediately too and have done/still need to do other odds and ends. It's a great used car for me, but given it's a 26 year old 2 door vehicle with all the refinement of a Ranger from that era that gets 16 MPG, it's not really a good inexpensive family car. Oh and no airbags, though it is the first Explorer I've owned where the ABS still works.

I do see some regular cars and minivans in the 10-20 year range, but pretty much all of them have high miles, nasty interiors, foggy lights, fading paint, and need something. Things like Tahoes are either trashed, or over $10k.
 
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People are itching for that "something nice" and overpaying. They haven't been eating out, haven't been taking vacations, and are flush with cash. If their current car has 175k they want under 100k or under 50k to make it make sense in their heads. We saw this with home improvement supplies and now we're seeing it with transportation-- people are using this year to set themselves up better in durable goods.

We wouldn't have inflation if people just sat on their cash, but as a collective it's burning a hole in our pockets. Throw in a little Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt that something might be even more expensive next year and people buy.

Used cars are "fun" if you have Saturdays off to work on them and save hundreds if not thousands vs going to a garage. But my work could have me in for overtime, as much as I want, so I'm a little fatigued and don't want to futz with my own stuff after hours. I bet others feel this way too.
 

JTK

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Where are the sub $15k cars?

The $15k cars of today are the $8k cars of yesterday. Everything in this market, at least in my area, is absolute garbage below $20k.

It's either spend $20k plus or overpay for literal junk.

Right on with this. There's little/nothing available in this range in my area.

Couple that with rust belt life, a 10yr/old vehicle is part way gone by that point, or is going to need major work that you won't be able to find a shop to do or parts are unavailable, cost prohibitive, etc.

It really is a mess.
 
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The interesting thing about this is the glut of cheap older cars still on the market. Im talking about 10+ years old they are just going for nothing even with plenty of lifespan left. It’s not like there is just nothing to drive.
I would disagree, at least here in the New England area there aren't many of those 10+ year old cars with life left going for nothing.

Everything has gone up a few thousand bucks in price over just a few months ago, and many of these 10+ year old vehicles I see for sale at not great prices need thousands in work. It's a great time to sell a vehicle, unless you need to find something to replace it with. A friend of mine who still works at the insurance company I used to work for says the current market has brought a whole new meaning to the "replacement value" of a totaled vehicle, and is starting to be reflected in insurance premiums.
 
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I've been noticing in the last month or so lots and lots of pickups and SUV's with for sale signs on them. I'm betting the people that own these vehicles are trying to get dealer retail for their five to ten year old truck. A local used car guy has a Saturday Morning show on the radio here in town. He was commenting yesterday about people showing up at his place of business wanting to sell him their vehicle for way more than the car or truck could be sold for on his lot.
 

dareo

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All very interesting insights folks. I think the glut of these trucks in Utah could be just regional and related to the high cost of fueling them. High school kids can't afford to run around all day at $100 a tank.

Perhaps the GMT 800 platform is just bottoming out in price. GMT 400 SUVs/Trucks have begun to climb in price even as they age. Maybe the GMT 800s will start climbing the curve in a few years.
 

01rangerxl

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All very interesting insights folks. I think the glut of these trucks in Utah could be just regional and related to the high cost of fueling them. High school kids can't afford to run around all day at $100 a tank.

Perhaps the GMT 800 platform is just bottoming out in price. GMT 400 SUVs/Trucks have begun to climb in price even as they age. Maybe the GMT 800s will start climbing the curve in a few years.
The GMT800 is somewhere in the bottom part of it's price curve now, though the current crazy situation means the bottom is a lot higher. Not old enough to really be considered a classic, not new enough to be called late model or whatever. Still, if you find a clean one with under 100k, even 150k miles, expect to pay a high price. You can find them for $3k or so pretty easily around here, but they will have over 200k miles and the body and interior will be a complete mess.

Another thing, it seems like many people drive a whole lot these days. Even 15 years ago you could find 10 year old vehicles with just 100k miles or so all over the place. Now it seems like a 10 year old vehicle is much more likely to be over 200k. It blows my mind how many 2-3 year old cars come in at work with 80-90k miles already. Driving a lot seems to have become commonplace.
 
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Another thing, it seems like many people drive a whole lot these days. Even 15 years ago you could find 10 year old vehicles with just 100k miles or so all over the place. Now it seems like a 10 year old vehicle is much more likely to be over 200k. It blows my mind how many 2-3 year old cars come in at work with 80-90k miles already. Driving a lot seems to have become commonplace.
My 97 Volvo 960 has 135k and the 2010 Prius has 102,500. Build date on the Volvo was Nov 1996 so she turns 25 yrs this month and averaged only 5,400 miles per year. Value of the car around $1500 and she runs and drives perfectly. Prius trade in around $4500 and same as the Volvo runs with zero issues. Average milage per year 8,250 based of aquire date of July 2009.

A lot of people around me have vehicles with similar and even less mileage per year.
 
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I wonder if the gradually increasing fuel prices will start to change buyer habits soon. It’s creeping back up to where it peaked a few years ago.
 

JTK

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I wonder if the gradually increasing fuel prices will start to change buyer habits soon. It’s creeping back up to where it peaked a few years ago.
I hear you. It is odd. I'm thinking it has to do with pricing being high on everything now.

Back then you could buy a new economy car for around $13K. I think it was around 2006-7 when regular unleaded spiked to close to $4/gal in my area. I traded my 2005 Chevy Trailblazer for a new 2007 Cobalt around that time. I got the new Cobalt for something like $12100+ tax. With trade equity, it was around $6K.
 
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I have a friend whose Kia Sportage blew the engine last week at 240,000 miles. He needed another car quickly and wanted another Sportage. The local dealer had three on the lot. Here’s the price, take it or leave it. He did however get the Kia Loyalty discount and 0% financing. He was reasonably happy with it.
 
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