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After Mr. Haile sold his Civic, he kept getting calls responding to his advertisement. He wonders now whether he should have asked for more.

“I’ve been getting a million calls for the car,” he said. “I felt sorry that I sold it for that price. I should have sold it for a little higher.”

SHRINKING CARS: GROWING TREND

As gas prices continue to soar, demand for small used cars is on the rise, driving up prices. Some examples of the price escalation:

Total used small car market: Up 2 percent from April 2007 to April 2008, even though the average used vehicle price in the U.S. dropped 2.5 percent in the same period.

Super small: Tiny cars such as the Toyota Yaris saw an average price increase of 7.3 percent between March and April 2007 and the same period this year.

Trend accelerates: Used small cars such as the Honda Civic and Ford Focus have seen big price increases recently. From April 1 to May 11, Civic prices are up 2.7 percent, while Focus prices are up 1.3 percent.

Sources: National Automobile Dealers Association, J.D. Power and Associates