I’VE BEEN CONTEMPLATING what to do about my aging van. New engine or a different van with lower mileage? So the past few months I’ve been checking out various used vehicle sites. 

Used car prices had been shooting up the past couple of years—about 42% since 2020. That’s partly due to a shortage of new vehicles. COVID-19, supply chain problems, chip shortages… And van prices in particular have jumped because of demand spurred by #vanlife, Nomadland, soaring rents, stagnant wages, and increased homelessness. My searches showed that sellers had been demanding at least $20,000 for high mileage vans that had been rode hard and put away rusty. Uh, no thank you.

But when I looked at today’s offerings I was surprised there were several decent looking vans in the $6,000 to $10,000 range with less that 150K miles. Hmmmmm… It’s only a small sampling, but maybe prices are dropping.

Expensive fuel might be one reason. Gotta get rid of the gas guzzlers. What’s more, automotive industry analysts see vehicle supply and customer demand reaching equilibrium this fall and prices returning to something more reasonable. Zac Palmer at AutoBlog writes:

A new report from Automotive News suggests that the current used vehicle price boom will die in late 2022 and early 2023.

Using data and analysis from consulting firm KPMG, it’s predicted that average used car prices will fall about 20-30% in a return to a normal relationship to new car prices. Of course, this is contingent on vehicle supply,

Even if it takes until late 2022 for new car supply to catch up to demand, KPMG believes that used car prices will start their downward trend before then.

However, that article was from six months ago. Who knows what they predict now, with inflation being what it is. Will it reduce demand? Will it create more motivated sellers? I guess we’ll watch and see. What’s the market like in your area?