walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

can't get any money out of your SUV? wait till you try to get a decent mpg car

http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/105411/Want-a-Used-%27Econobox%27;_ylt=AhSvzEacaL3WXMiWDRgUqFRO7sMF?-Better-Get-in-Line

This is a hilariously funny article, well, if you own a Prius/Fit/Yaris/Aveo/WTF and you _don't_ own something that gets mpg nominally measured in the teens. If you do own the SUV (or whatever), this is definitely cry-in-your-beer time.

The difficulty of getting any money out of selling a used SUV has been thoroughly covered by the media, as has the flying-off-the-lot for new, high mpg cars thing. But _years_ ago, I knew people shopping the used market hard for a commuter car, because they were already having trouble when the cost of gas per gallon started with a 2 and not a 4. They've got a lot more company now and guess what happens when everyone wants something with a limited supply? The price goes up.

Expectable.

We did a little checking on what people were asking for used 2007 Fit Sports, just for yucks. I asserted we could get all our (my!) money back out of it (it is also low mileage). Turns out we could probably _make_ money on it, or, as R. put it, we should have bought two. Yeah. Not. Notable: a lot of those '07 Fits are incredibly high mileage (some of them 40K and higher), which makes sense -- the people who have to drive a lot are going to be more sensitive to gas prices than the rest of us.

There's a really dumb quote in the article I referenced. "Mr. Benstock says booming prices for small used cars reflect a degree of hysteria typical of markets where demand outstrips supply."

Perhaps the author paraphrased incorrectly, but _someone_ is responsible for emitting that inanity. Given the jubilation in the press today because oil stayed below $129 another day? And given the amount of savings possible on gas if you drive a lot of miles at 30 mpg instead of 15 or 20? Maybe not so hysterical.

R. notes that if you get a huge crowd of people to price something, the average price selected will be more accurate than any of the components (this turns out not to be _precisely_ true, but it's pretty damn close to the truth; certainly, over a series of these experiments, the crowd _will_ be more accurate than any individual member. Usually. You can actually rig that, too, but never mind that now). There are more drivers than there are pundits. If the drivers are all voting one way, and the pundits are voting another way, I know which way I'm going to bet.

ETA: More from the WSJ online about gas prices. Hits all the things I keep screeching about. How conservation is a bad word. How no one wants to be Jimmy Carter with the cardigan. How we're getting less than no leadership from Washington. How conservation is the only way we're going to get quick relief. Nice quotes from the retiring Warner.

Oh, and, fwiw, advocating a return to enforced/lower speed limits and less powerful/gas guzzling cars.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121578056201145757.html?mod=yahoo_free
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