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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Dave CherryCBS 5 Advocate Dave Cherry works to resolve your consumer problems and protect your money. If he can't help, he'll do his best to point you in the right direction.

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Dave Cherry
CBS 5 Advocate

Dave was born and raised in Philadelphia and considers himself one of the biggest Philly sports fans. At 6-feet, 5-inches, he's probably right! Dave started on a different career path before fulfilling his lifelong dream of reporting the news and helping consumers. Dave graduated from Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting; he later earned an MBA degree in Finance from Temple University in Philadelphia. Dave also spent ten years as Vice President and Director of Sales and Marketing for two of America's leading real estate franchise companies. Dave started his 21-year news career at WHP in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as news anchor and reporter, then moved to KOLD in Tucson, as the morning news anchor. From Tucson, he went to KRON in San Francisco as a freelance news reporter before moving east to COMCAST in Philadelphia as a general assignment reporter. In the fall of 2003, Dave moved west and joined KPNX in Phoenix and spent nine years as the station Call for Action Consumer Reporter. Through his on-air advocacy work in 2011, Dave and his team were able to help consumers save more than $1 million. Dave joined CBS 5 News as our CBS 5 Advocate in December 2012. Dave is a vegan and likes to eat the amazing vegan food prepared by his lovely wife, Carmen. Dave's also a big Bruce Springsteen fan (he's seen more than 70 shows!), the man who inspired him to learn the guitar. Besides playing many of the boss' songs, Dave writes and sings his own songs and recorded a CD of original music.

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