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Car Prices Expected To Go Up If Economy Improves

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LAS VEGAS -- Car buyers will likely pay more for new and used cars this year as the economy improves.

That's according to the National Automobile Dealers Association, which predicts the average price of a new car will rise 6 percent to $30,000. Used prices will jump as much as 8 percent for pickups and SUVs. The average price of a used small car, like the Honda Civic, will increase 1 percent to $9,475.

More people are expected to splurge on new luxury cars as the economy improves. By contrast, used cars are in tight supply because so few people bought cars during the recession.

NADA chief economist Paul Taylor expects U.S. vehicle sales to rise 9 percent to 13.9 million this year. New products and low interest rates should help boost sales.

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