2004 Toyota PriusEnlarge Photo
In the market for a used hybrid? Now could be the time to start looking, as prices are steadily falling.
It's all down to stable gas prices, reports Wards Auto, which have seen used hybrid values fall faster than any other segment--down a full 9 percent from January.
Where fuel prices in 2011 and 2012 spiked leading to a rise in the value of hybrid vehicles, the slow, steady increase in gas prices at the moment mean consumers aren't panic-buying hybrids just yet.
From a three-year high at the start of 2013, Kelley Blue Book's senior market analyst Alec Gutierrez expects a general fall in vehicle values until the end of the year, with a 3-5 percent overall drop.
A few segments--pickup trucks and sports cars in particular--have actually risen in value. Sports cars and coupes are very much affected by seasonal changes however--everybody wants something eye-catching for the summer...
Overall used vehicle prices are still higher than they were a few years ago, when supply was limited due to low new vehicle sales in 2008-2009--a symptom of the global economic crisis. An increase in the supply of late-model vehicles thanks to recovering sales is putting pressure on the prices of older used cars, leading to lower values.
While low hybrid values aren't much consolation if you're looking to sell one right now, it's great if you're in the market.
If you need some inspiration, why not check our our list of the Five Best Used Green Cars To Buy? Four of the five are hybrids, so there should be something for everyone.
You could also read our 2001-2003 Toyota Prius used car guide, if your budget is a little lower.