Thinking of getting a smaller car? Wait until fall

July 18, 2011 9:03:45 AM PDT
Thinking of trading in the clunker in your garage for something that gets better gas mileage? Wait a little longer. Small car prices, which have set record highs this year, are expected to come down this fall.

Lower gas prices will make people comfortable driving something bigger. Honda and Toyota, which were hurt by the Japan earthquake, will crank up production of small cars. And Japan and Detroit will offer big discounts on smaller models as their lots fill up.

The average new compact car, which cost a record $20,500 in June, should fall to about $19,300 by the end of the year. The average used compact car should fall from a record $11,300 to about $9,600 over the same time, according figures compiled by the Kelley Blue Book auto pricing service.

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