Used BMW Prices Fall Most in September

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Used-car prices continue to sink, extending a trend that began in the spring. Compared to August, average September listing prices for 2011 to 2013 model-year cars were down 1.1 percent ($250) to $22,354. Average prices have now fallen nearly $900 from the beginning of the year.

Related Storm Surge: Beware of Title-Washed Cars

Practically all the models with the biggest price drops this month were luxury cars, and most of these were BMWs. The brand's 7 Series full-size sedan took the top two spots, with the six-cylinder 740i down 4.7 percent ($2,266) and the V-8 750i down 4.1 percent ($2,113). The lone nonluxury model in the top 10 was the Nissan Leaf electric car, which experienced a 2.9 percent ($531) price drop.

By Mike Hanley | September 26, 2014 | Comments (1)

Storm Surge: Beware of Title-Washed Cars

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Shopping for a used car in Mississippi? Beware of title washing. The Magnolia State has the highest density of title-washed cars in the country, with 1 in every 44.6 used cars bearing a washed title, a Cars.com analysis has found. That's well above the national average of 1 in 324.9 used cars. New Jersey, meanwhile, has the second-highest rate: 1 in 87 cars.

Related: How to Know if You're Buying a Flood-Damaged Car

Why? In a word, hurricanes. Nearly a decade ago, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita left 600,000 flood-damaged cars across the Gulf States. And in 2012, Hurricane Sandy reportedly left more than 200,000 storm-damaged cars in New Jersey and New York. Salvage titles, or titles for cars that were retitled after they were written off as total losses by insurance companies, proliferated after all three storms. Title washing also surged, where sellers alter vehicle titles to hide their salvage status and sell the cars as regular used vehicles. To do this, sellers often send those cars through states with looser title laws.

By contrast, used-car shoppers in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania have less to worry about. Just 1 in 2,127 used cars in Ohio has a washed title. Florida (1 in 1,444.9 cars) and Pennsylvania (1 in 1,200.3 cars) round out the podium for low-risk states.

By Kelsey Mays | September 23, 2014 | Comments (5)

NHTSA Launches VIN-Searchable Recall Finder

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Used-car shoppers: Want to know if your prospective car has any recalls that haven't been done? After all, about 1 in 4 recalled cars never get their recall work done, which could stick future owners with potential safety hazards.

More Recall Coverage

Now there's a place you can find this information. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just launched a tool on its website where you can look up a car by its vehicle identification number to view its recalls. It's at www.safercar.gov/vinlookup. You can find the VIN at the base of the driver's side of the windshield, just beneath the glass.

It isn't just a tool to see what recalls have been announced on a prospective vehicle; it also shows you if those recalls have been completed or not on that specific car.

By Kelsey Mays | August 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

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5. Buying a Used Car? You Need These Tips

By Matt Schmitz | August 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Video: Used-Car Buying Tips

Buying a used car in many cases can actually be a better deal than buying a new car — if you play your cards right. In the video above, Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder coaches shoppers on what to look for, what questions to ask and how to play the odds in order to make the smartest gamble on a used-car purchase.

By Matt Schmitz | August 11, 2014 | Comments (1)

Report: GM Cars in Ignition-Cylinder Recall Selling for Less

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A new report by iSeeCars.com says cars involved in the most serious of GM's ignition-related recalls have lower prices on the used-car market. The Woburn, Mass.-based automotive site, and Cars.com partner, analyzed more than 11 million cars for sale and found the listed price of recalled cars has dropped more than double the rate of non-luxury used cars in general.

More on GM's Ignition Recalls

The website looked at listed prices for the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2007 Saturn Sky and 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice. All six models were among the 2.2 million cars recalled in the U.S. between Feb. 25 and April 9 for faulty ignition switches and then, ultimately, faulty ignition cylinders.

By Kelsey Mays | July 25, 2014 | Comments (3)

Used-Car Prices Fall for Third Straight Month in July

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Late-model used-car prices dipped below $23,000 in July for the first time this year, settling at $22,919. That's a 0.78 percent drop from June, and it's the third month in a row that prices have dropped.

Related: What’s the Most Affordable Car in 2014?

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid's price fell the most in July, dropping 3.2 percent ($653) to $19,511. The only other alternative-fuel car in the top 10 list is the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car, and all of the other models are from luxury brands.

By Mike Hanley | July 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

IIHS: These Used Cars Are Safer for Teen Drivers

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Teen driving statistics are scary: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that car crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens and in 2010 seven teens died every day from crash-related injuries. What's worse is that according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, many teens drive vehicles that don't protect them very well in an accident. Since the IIHS estimates that 83 percent of parents who buy a vehicle for their teen purchase a used car, the agency just released its first list of used vehicles that cost less than $20,000 and are recommended as safe for teen drivers.

More Safety News

IIHS suggests that parents choose lower-horsepower larger vehicles that are equipped with electronic stability control. The cars on its list range in price from $4,000 for a 2005 Saab 9-3 to $19,900 for a 2011 Buick Enclave. Click here for more from our friends at USA Today and check out the IIHS's full list of recommended vehicles here.

Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Thinkstock

By Jennifer Geiger | July 16, 2014 | Comments (10)

Nissan Leaf Used Prices Drop Most in June

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Gas prices may be on the rise, but that's not necessarily bolstering demand for used electric cars. The all-electric Nissan Leaf saw the biggest price drop in June; asking prices for late-model used Leafs dipped 4.2 percent ($819) to $18,692 on average. The Chevrolet Volt, an electric car with a range-extending gas generator, experienced the fourth-biggest price drop, with its average price falling 2.9 percent ($710) to $23,984.

Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Express 3500 full-size van had the biggest price gain in June, up 2.1 percent ($513) to $24,908. Rounding out the top three were the Porsche Boxster convertible, up 1.8 percent ($959), and the Lincoln MKS luxury sedan, which gained 1.5 percent ($430).

By Mike Hanley | June 24, 2014 | Comments (1)

Report: Average Car on U.S. Roads Still 11.4 Years Old

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A new report by IHS Automotive says the average car on U.S. roads is 11.4 years old, which is the same as last year. The data reflects a plateau — if temporary — of America's aging vehicle fleet. Last year's 11.4-year average was the eighth straight year of increasing vehicle age.

Top 10 Used Cars for $10K

There are about 252.7 million light vehicles (i.e., not semitrailers or other heavy-duty commercial vehicles) on the road, which works out to around 79.5 cars per 100 Americans. That's up from 2013 (79 cars per 100 Americans) but down from the recession (83.2 cars per 100 Americans in 2007 and 2008) according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Polk. IHS purchased Polk, an analytics firm, in 2013.

IHS projects the average car's age will stay the same next year and then gradually rise to 11.7 years by 2019.

Cars.com photo by Joe Wiesenfelder

By Kelsey Mays | June 9, 2014 | Comments (8)

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