Used car demand means big bucks for trade-ins

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Take a walk around a used car lot and you'll quickly see "used cars are almost as expensive as a new car," says Brewbaker Motors Vice President, Don Rickard.

He says there's a reason for it.

"When the economy was down three years ago, when we were selling 9-million instead of 17 million--which we sold in 2007, there is going to be a shortage in used cars, so the price is going to go up."

But the crunch is felt across the car lot. Capitol Hyundai General Manager Stan Hurst says production plants can't keep up with the increase in new car business.

"The demand is back, it's just we don't have the units out there."

It's forcing customers to consider used vehicles when new ones aren't available.

"It's not really that folks are coming in for used cars.  It's just there are less cars to choose from so they're buying used cars," adds Rickard.

If you're thinking about buying a new car, dealers say there's never been a better time to trade in your old one. You could get more money for it.

"Something that would retail out in the marketplace between $7,000-$9,000 dollars would be a very valuable piece for us," says Hurst.

"That's why I have an ad. Bring your car..we'll buy it," adds Rickard.

Maurice Franklin is doing just that--trading his old vehicle in and hoping to get enough for a down payment on a new one.

"I'd feel great if I could."

Dealers say customers aren't just going to their local dealerships anymore.  Hurst says some of his shoppers are coming all the way from West Virginia and Ohio to buy vehicles.

It's one reason new car incentives are down right now.  Rickard says cars are selling so fast dealers don't need to offer as many.

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