What Impact Is Gasoline Prices Having on Used Car Forecasts?

Con­sumers and fed­er­al gov­ern­ment man­dates put pres­sure on fuel effi­cient vehi­cles to off­set fluc­tu­at­ing gaso­line prices and emis­sions, and that includes Detroit 3 automak­ers laud­ing high­er fuel econ­o­my on their pick­ups.

It’s not help­ing resale val­ues; not long ago, small cars and hybrids were very strong in used vehi­cle resale val­ues, but that’s been drop­ping this year.

What do the experts fore­cast in the com­ing months?

Gaso­line prices always play a big part in this pur­chase deci­sion, and it’s look­ing like they’re not going up any­time soon.

The US Ener­gy Infor­ma­tion Admin­is­tra­tion (EIA) fore­casts that reg­u­lar-grade gaso­line will have a nation­wide aver­age of $3.44 a gal­lon in the fourth quar­ter of this year.

EIA saw gas prices reach sum­mer peak of $3.68 per gal­lon in late July.

Kel­ley Blue sees fuel prices con­tin­u­ing on a flat tra­jec­to­ry for rest of year with the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a slight depre­ci­a­tion, sim­i­lar to what hap­pened in 2011.

This will put fur­ther down­ward pres­sure on hybrid and fuel-effi­cient vehi­cle seg­ments, accord­ing to Alec Gutier­rez, senior ana­lyst for Kel­ley Blue Book.

Com­pact crossovers have been soft­en­ing – they fell 2.4% last month – more than any oth­er car or truck seg­ment, accord­ing to Black Book.

It makes for very pop­u­lar seg­ment and much more used sup­ply is com­ing back into mar­ket – dri­ving prices down fur­ther, says Black Book Senior VP and Edi­to­r­i­al Direc­tor Ricky Beg­gs.

Seg­ment had much stronger reten­tion ear­li­er in 2013, mak­ing it vul­ner­a­ble to a cor­rec­tion that’s hap­pen­ing late­ly.

Larg­er vehi­cles like full-size pick­ups are doing bet­ter late­ly than small­er, more fuel-effi­cient vehi­cles.

Soft­en­ing fuel prices and eco­nom­ic growth, espe­cial­ly in the con­struc­tion indus­try, are giv­ing truck seg­ments the edge for now.

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