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2/17/2012 - Used car prices on the rise

Used auto prices may rise.

If consumers are in the market to buy a pre-owned vehicle, they may want to purchase it in the near future if they want to land a good deal.

According to vehicle valuation website Kelley Blue Book, used-car prices are expected to increase by between 3% and 5% in the first three months of the year.

The source notes that while vehicle values were stable through the first few weeks of the year, several car segments have seen an uptick in price, specifically mid-size, hybrid, full-size and compact. While prices may be on the rise, owners may be able to find savings on auto insurance, as pre-owned cars tend to be more affordable to insure.

Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book, said prices will likely remain elevated through a good portion of 2012.

"Consumers eyeing one of the many highly acclaimed redesigned 2011 model-year vehicles for their next used car should be prepared to pay a significant premium," said Gutierrez. "For example, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and Kia Optima currently maintain a premium higher than 40% versus the 2010 model-year counterpart."

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