Used cars are becoming more affordable, especially small cars and hybrids.  A weak economy has led many car-owners to hold on to their vehicles longer than they might normally have, but as conditions show signs of improvement, and as availability becomes more abundant after the Clash-for-Clunkers program, deals on used cars are becoming more prevalent.

In 2009, in the wake of the 2008 crash of the housing bubble, auto sales dropped to a 30-year low.  Today if you are looking to buy a 3-year-old used car, according to Kelly Blue Book you can expect to pay 25-30% less than the SMRP for a new model.

KTRH’s Car Pro Jerry Reynolds says the choice of buying new or used depends on what you are looking for.

“If you’re looking for a pick-up truck, large-sized, or an SUV, you’re better to go new right now because the incentives are so good, and on the used market trucks and SUV’s have held their value.”

Kelly Blue Book indicates that the cost of a used 2010 full-size pickup has stayed flat for most of 2013.  By comparison, the cost of smaller cars like a Ford Focus or a Honda Civic have fallen 8.5%.

“If you’re looking for a midsize to smaller car, those prices have dropped this year,” Reynolds told KTRH.  “It’s better to go with a used one of those.”

Around 40 million used cars are sold in the US each year, compared with approximately 15 million new cars.