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Brad Tuttle covers business and personal finance for TIME

Posted Apr 08 2013 6:07am
Montgomery, Ala. Prices are generally cheaper in larger urban areas like Cleveland and Miami.
A Sun Sentinel article boasted that South Florida had the country s least expensive used cars—running 7% less than the national average. Why are prices so cheap? We have a large older population, one economist explained, and as they pass away or stop driving, their cars flood the marketplace, driving prices down.
Jorge Salazar-Carrillo, an economics professor at Florida International University, also said that South Florida s showy culture plays a role:
 It s that kind of environment, he said. You key programmers   have to show how well you are doing. Most people are never going to see the house you live in and so many people are trying to impress others by the kind of car they are driving.
(MORE: Why 2013 Will Be Another Huge Year for Car Sales)
The more likely drivers are to want to impress neighbors and business associates, the more likely they are to upgrade their cars regularly—and, of course, to trade in their old cars. Dealerships in the region report that the marketplace s cheap used-car prices are attracting buyers from as far away as Texas and Alaska.
 Brad Tuttle covers business and personal finance for TIME. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and four sons, and also teaches journalism at UMass-Amherst.
 I had been driving a 1981 Mercedes diesel since 1988, and had kept it in perfect condition, both operating and in appearance. I thought about getting a new VW diesel, as they're so much frame bdm   cleaner, faster, and have modern safety equipment, even if slightly smaller and less comfortable. I began to notice about two years back that the Mercedes was going up in value, and the new VW Jetta and Passat seemed to be very nice cars, and available at good discounts when dealer got stuck with a new one that had a straight shift transmission. When I listed the Mercedes, with several photos, and noted it's 28 mpg both around town or at Interstate speeds, I sold it almost immediately for at least $1,000 more than I would
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