If you've been pondering the purchase of a late-model used vehicle, this may be the time to act. Our latest data found that average auction prices for these cars and trucks declined by approximately 1.7 percent in April compared to their 2012 levels -- a dip that also will be reflected in their retail transaction numbers. Alec Gutierrez, Senior Marketing Analyst, Automotive Insights, anticipates this general trend will continue, with prices expected to slip between one and three percent during the remainder of the second quarter second and likely end the year somewhere between three and five percent below 2012 levels.

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Exceptions to this price softening included subcompact cars, which gained 3.4 percent in year-over-year relative value, and mid-size/full-size pickups, up 1.3 percent/1.8 percent, respectively. On the other side of the ledger, while auction values of midsize cars and luxury compact SUV/crossovers dropped by 5.5 and 5.6 percent, hybrids and other alternative energy vehicles turned out to be the biggest losers. Their comparative values plummeted by 12.3 percent, a decrease largely attributable to cheaper gasoline prices and attractive finance deals on new hybrid models.


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