Usually, a car is a horrible investment. Cars lose value faster than a Springbok coach loses popularity after a bad result. New cars are the worst, though used cars are also capable of shedding 15%-20% in value every year.Occasionally, there’s a glitch in the matrix. Used car prices are going up and a cursory search of the classifieds will confirm it. If there was a model you had your eye on a year ago, the price is now 10%-30% higher.For an objective measure, the Manheim US used vehicle value index is being watched by investors. This measures pricing trends at wholesale auctions, so the data is much cleaner than trying to figure out what prices were achieved in private deals. The index is relevant for US inflation data and its impact on markets.In September alone, the index increased 5.3%. It’s now 27.1% higher than it was a year ago. A used car showroom is more like a garden nursery under these conditions, with the stock climbing in value each month. That’s useful when you’re clea...

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