The struggling U.S. economy and rising gas prices continue to impact the market values of used cars into the spring season with the average values of vehicles produced between 2005 and 2003 dropping roughly 16 percent, from $17,345 to $14,441, since March 2007, Black Book said in its most recent market survey.

“The spring season typically signals an upswing in vehicle resale values, but continued economic troubles and high gas prices have had a sustained impact on the used car market,” said Ricky Beggs, vice president and managing editor at Black Book. “The market for domestic trucks was hardest hit, but luxury cars and full-sized SUVs continue to experience above-average depreciation rates as well.”

The domestic car market segment alone showed modest increases of 2.13 percent for four-year-old vehicles and 5.82 percent for five-year-old vehicles when compared with March 2007 values.

Conversely, the greatest depreciation occurred in the domestic truck segment with values declining between approximately 5.24 and 8.56 percent for three-, four-, and five-year-old trucks. Import trucks fared only slightly better with decreases between 2.16 and 4.27 percent, while the import car segment showed drops in value between 1.89 and 5.82 percent, according to Black Book.

The most recent survey examined vehicle resale values from December 1 through February 29, 2007. During this period, quarterly depreciation was 6.68 percent. The majority of the annual depreciation has occurred since September 2007, with a drop of 13.59 percent.

The December 2007 to March 2008 quarter saw overall declines of 7.36 percent for all car segments and 5.89 percent for all truck segments over the previous quarter from September through December 2007.