“In 2008, consumers reacted to rising gas prices by running away from SUVs; in 2011, they reacted by running toward small cars,” said Richard Arca, used car analyst at Edmunds.com. “This year’s pricing trends are also affected by the March earthquake in Japan, which for some time made it very difficult to find, for example, a new Toyota Prius or Honda Civic. That created a very aggressive market for similar used models.”
According to Edmunds.com data, the price of a new 2010 Toyota Prius bought in July 2010 depreciated just 4.3 percent after one year, while the price of a new 2010 Honda Civic depreciated five percent over the same period. By comparison, the average price for all new 2010 models depreciated 28.9 percent during that time.
Overall, used car prices have climbed 4.3 percent from January to July this year. In 2010, prices rose 3.0 percent over the same period.