JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

When new car sales were slumping a few years ago, used car prices soared. Now it's just the opposite, and used car prices are improving.

Used cars have become more affordable, especially if you're looking for a small car or a hybrid.

"Earlier on in the hybrid technology there weren't that many available, but as far as hybrids go now, they've been so successful that the market has accepted them well," said Anderson Premdas, a used car salesman for Keith Pierson Toyota. "There's more available now, which equals more availability easier to get them, a less price."

Premdas said used car prices have been falling since 2011 and are expected to decline gradually for the rest of this year.

"Now that the cars are a lot more readily available, lots of good incentives and everything else, used cars have taken a backseat to new, so the used prices have declined," Premdas said.

The price of a 3-year-old car fell 4 percent between April and June. The average retail price of a used car fell by $1,000 per car in the last half of 2012.

Because there are far more used cars in the pipeline, buyers can expect to pay 25 or 30 percent less than the manufacturer's suggested retail price for a current new model.

Dealers expect a similar decline in the second half of this year.

"The price -- you can get such a good price -- such a good value for your money right now," Premdas said. "Lots of late model pre-owned vehicles with low miles at a very reasonable prices."

The expected price declines will be gradual, but more inventory is helping to lower prices.