Now may be the time to buy a car over an SUV

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Car dealers will tell you any time is a good time to buy a car and now there may actually be some proof. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Car dealers will tell you any time is a good time to buy a car and now there may actually be some proof. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Car sales now represent about 38 percent of the market with more consumers preferring SUVs and trucks. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Car sales now represent about 38 percent of the market with more consumers preferring SUVs and trucks. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Trucks and SUVs are once again getting more popular. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Trucks and SUVs are once again getting more popular. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Car dealers will tell you any time is a good time to buy a car and now there may actually be some proof, especially on off-lease passenger cars.

It's the combination of a couple of factors going on across the country and here in the Phoenix area. You have millions of car leases ending, those low-mile cars are now for sale, and they are for sale at a time when more consumers prefer other types of vehicles.

A few years ago, passenger cars made up about 50 percent of sales nationwide according to auto experts. Many car dealers offered sweet lease deals expecting to make a nice profit when they sold those cars after the leases expired. Then consumer tastes changed. Knox Ramsey of the Valley Auto Dealers Association says that makes sense.

"SUVs are particularly attractive to families because they have a utilitarian nature about them. If you're hauling kids to the soccer games or you're going grocery shopping," Ramsey said.

Car sales now represent about 38 percent of the market with more consumers preferring SUVs and trucks. Auto experts predict millions of low-mile cars will come off-lease this year.

"A lot of leased cars are very well-cared for, so they will market those cars as certified, pre-owned vehicles," Ramsey said.

So cars are less popular and there will be more of them on the market due to expiring leases. Ramsey says that's great news for buyers who want a car over an SUV.

"You have less of demand and you have big supply, so basic economics, the prices go down," Ramsey said.

With a glut of quality used cars coming onto dealer lots, that should drive new car prices down also.

"The manufacturers have quite a bit of incentive money in the marketplace today to help move those inventories off the dealer lots," Ramsey said.

As the economy has come back, so has the financing available for leasing. Ramsey says leasing now makes up about 31 percent of market. Much of that is on more popular SUVs than cars.

Bottom line: If you prefer a car to an SUV or truck, you should find some great deals over the next few months.

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