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7/27/2011 - Prices for fuel-efficient vehicles have reached peak

Dealerships may soon cut prices on some fuel-efficient models.

It may finally be the right time to buy a fuel-efficient car for cost-conscious consumers.

That's because according to the vehicle valuation company Kelley Blue Book, gas-sipping automobiles like hybrids appear to be coming down in price after a year in which prices have been rising.

KBB reports that the average value of all vehicles increased by 5.4 percent - or about $950 - from the start of the year through mid-June. While values in just the fuel-efficient hybrid segment jumped more than 20 percent from January to mid-June, they grew just 1.7 percent from early May onward, showing a slowdown in price growth. In the week ending June 10, they actually dropped in value.
What explains the price drop? KBB says it's likely tied to the price of gasoline, which has dropped approximately 30 cents.

"Regardless of where these used-vehicle values end up, fuel-efficient vehicles will remain a smart purchase for budget-conscious consumers," said Alec Gutierrez, manager of vehicle valuation for KBB. Gutierrez went on to say that prices may drop even further after the summer.

With gas prices declining, demand for fuel-efficient vehicles has also dipped, but it's likely both consumers and auto insurers will still notice a significant number of them on the roads. 

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