SUV owners, sellers report dry spell of interested buyers - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

SUV owners, sellers report dry spell of interested buyers

From NBC12 News

Gas prices hit another record high today. It's news that consumers are used to hearing, but it never gets any easier to take.

The national average jumped a penny overnight, reaching $3.96 a gallon for regular unleaded. That's up 15 cents from last month and 77 cents from a year ago.

The soaring gas prices have caused the sale of trucks and large SUVs to decline - both for consumers looking to buy them and sell them.

Some SUV owners have been trying to trade in or sell the vehicles in hopes of cutting costs gas, but they're finding that they may now be paying an even bigger prices.

Sheehy Ford general Sales Manager Mark Shebelski says the number of drivers coming to dealerships to trade in their large SUVs for more fuel efficient vehicles has become noticable in just the last few weeks.

"People are saying right now, with the expectations of $4 a gallon, they don't want a vehcile that's getting 13 to 14 miles to the gallon," Shebelski said.

While drivers may be hoping to save money at the pump by swapping their SUVs, they may end up losing money. Trade in values for these vehicles can be thousands less than even a few months ago.

Not only are drivers trading in their SUVs and trucks for less than the typical resale value, but private sellers are also having a tough time. This morning's newspaper carried plenty of ads for SUVs. One seller was willing to trade in his vehicle with a free tank of gas.

That owner said he felt he was asking a fair price, but was willing to accept less to get the vehicle off his hands. He said he's been advertising for two months and has only had three calls.

The owner of a 3-year-old Ford Explorer says he's also had a tough time selling his vehicle and that his decision to sell was motivated solely by the pain at the pump.

Sheehy's general manager says the skyrocketing gas prices have changed the way the dealerships are doing business. He says they're not bringing anymore large SUVs onto the lot for now, as what was typically a two-month supply of vehicles has quickly become more like a six- to eight-month supply.

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