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Used Car Prices Skyrocketing

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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – If you’re driving a fuel-efficient, late-model car, you may be getting quite a bit of interest from car dealers across South Florida.

The price of used cars hit a record high in April with people demanding smaller cars that get great gas mileage. According to USAToday.com, AutoNation has started hanging tags in gas friendly cars offering great deals if the car is traded-in.

“There are customers out there right now who are making payments in there last year and the value of their car has gone up, so what they’ve paid over the last three or four years, that last year of payment, they have equity in their car,” said Marc Cannon of AutoNation.

Kelley Blue Book said used car prices have jumped 20 percent since January after falling for most of 2009 and 2010.

One of the reasons dealers want the used cars is that they typically make more money off selling used cars than they do off new cars. Plus, dealers are willing to pay top dollar for used cars if they are kept in good shape.

Add in the fact that gas prices are $4 a gallon for regular unleaded, and a likely shortage of cars coming out of Japan, and a perfect storm has erupted that is driving used car prices higher.

It’ s a deal some drivers are more than happy to jump on.

“I’d love to get a new car,” said driver Jennifer Hampton. “If I had a new car for three years and it was worth 20 percent more…absolutely I’d get rid of it.”

Still, even with the appeal of cash in your pocket, it’s not enough incentive to sell.

“I don’t think so,” said driver Dario Sankar. “My car runs fine. It’s a couple of years old.”

The bottom line now is, you might want to check out your car’s value, because you may have quite a little profit sitting in your driveway.

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