Pandemic

Used-car prices are finally starting to fall from their pandemic peaks, but deals are still far away

A car dealership lot with Ram pickup trucks.

Used-car prices will only truly get back to normal once new-car prices come down. David Zalubowski/AP

  • Used-car prices have shot through the roof in the past year.

  • The market may have finally peaked and prices are slowly returning to normal.

  • But it could still be more than a year before you can truly get a deal on a secondhand vehicle.

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In today’s topsy-turvy car market, people are shelling out thousands more for used cars than they did just a year ago, with prices jumping more than 10% in June alone.

And although prices appear to have peaked, it’ll be a long while before you’ll be able to pick up a secondhand set of wheels on the cheap, experts say.

Prices are finally dropping

After surging for months, wholesale used-vehicle prices went down between May and June, according to data from Manheim

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Used-car prices are poised to peak in U.S. after pandemic surge

The record-breaking increase in used-car prices is probably coming to an end – and with it a key driver of the recent spike in U.S. inflation. The bellwether of the industry – the wholesale market where dealers buy and sell in bulk – already has topped out and prices of individual secondhand cars should follow in a matter of weeks, said Zo Rahim, industry analyst at Cox Automotive. Cox owns Manheim, the biggest U.S. auction house that sells millions of vehicles every year. Soaring prices for secondhand vehicles have helped push U.S. inflation to the highest in more than a decade. The cost of used cars and trucks climbed 10% in April, and another 7.3% in May, when they were responsible for one-third of the overall increase in consumer prices. All kinds of pandemic-driven shifts in supply and demand have contributed to the run-up. But there are signs that

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