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Used Vehicle Market Strengthens on Sales of Cheaper Vehicles

by | June 17, 2024

It wasn’t just new cars moving off dealer lots last month, used cars, trucks and SUVs saw plenty of interest as well. If you’re in the market for a vehicle, there’s one end of the market moving faster than the rest — vehicles under $15,000.

used car lot

Used vehicle sales were up last month, bucking the trend from the spring months.

The uptick in sales is welcome news by used vehicle seller as the start of the year has been less than idea.

“Following a less-than-spectacular spring selling season, May used-vehicle retail sales rebounded to the highest level so far this year,” said Scott Vanner, senior analyst of Economic and Industry Insights at Cox Automotive. “In fact, used retail sales volume is higher than any month since March 2022, when tax refunds were juicing the market.”

Cox estimated used vehicle sales were up 15.9% in May, counting franchised and independent dealer results. That’s a total of 1.62 million vehicles on the move.

Big sellers

Used cars below $15,000 continue to show constrained availability with only 34 days’ supply, 22% less than the average. Affordability remains challenging for consumers, and supply is more limited at lower price points.

dealer handshake

Rising used car prices could make it harder to find the previously owned vehicle wanted a low price.

The top five sellers of the month sold at an average price of $23,999, about 7% below the average listing price for all vehicles sold, and were once again Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Honda and Nissan, accounting for 52% of all used vehicles sold.

The average mileage for a used vehicle sold last month was 69,773 miles.

More Sales Stories

Prices on the rise

Generic new car show room

Rising inventory levels helped used vehicle buyers find the vehicles they wanted.

More units sold means more competition and that means higher prices. The average listing price rose slightly to $25,670 from the revised $25,534 at the start of May but down 6% from a year earlier.

Retail used-vehicle prices have been consistently lower through the first five months of 2024 compared to year-ago levels.

Overall, used vehicle sales are up 15.8% for the year, and the days’ supply dropped from 48 at the end of April to 45 at the beginning of June. That’s about 2.3 million used vehicles sitting on lots across the country.


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