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5/30/2012 - Trade-in values set to peak

Used car prices are set to peak.

Motorists who are looking to trade in their vehicle for the best price possible may want to do so in the next couple of days, a new report suggests.

According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, trade-in values for used cars are expected to peak in April and May, largely because of inventory shortages on popular models, such as compact and mid-size cars.

"The most advantageous time this year to trade in a used car will be April through May because values will be higher," said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst at NADA. "The ongoing decline in the used-vehicle supply that began in 2009 has made it challenging for new-car dealers to consistently stock reliable, well-maintained used vehicles. This means that dealers will be aggressive with trade-in offers for used vehicles that are in high consumer demand."

Banks added that late-model vehicles that are less than six years old with low mileage would generally bring the biggest rate of return. Models that are more recent will command top dollar as well, such as the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2010 Dodge Caliber and 2011 Kia Rio.

Before trading in, vehicle owners may want to speak to their auto insurance provider, as there could be a significant difference in the premiums they pay for the car they get in return.

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