This may surprise you, but used car dealers have spent the last several years stretched a bit thin. Simply put, used vehicle inventories haven’t been very robust or very deep. This has proven to be a boon to those selling their vehicles, as dealers have been willing to pay top dollar simply to replenish their wares. Even so, those who have been looking for used vehicles may have noticed slimmer pickings than usual.
A Glut of New Used Cars
But that’s all starting to change. The dealers who have long struggled with low inventory are suddenly finding their lots explode with options. The reason for this is simple: Many two-and-three-year-old vehicles are coming off their leases, and as such they are making their way to used lots.
A recent Forbes report puts things into perspective, noting that “the number of off-lease models returning to market will increase by around 800,000 units this year, which represents a 33 percent boost over 2015.”
Implications for Dealers—and for Consumers
This scenario is actually a win-win. Certainly dealers have been longing to broaden their selections of used vehicles, luring in more and more customers simply by offering a more diverse product lineup. Note that, for most dealerships, used cars come with a wider profit margin than new ones, so any chance to spike the used car inventory is welcome.
At the same time, a deluge of used cars can’t help but lead to greater competition—and thus, to lower prices. Indeed, consumers who are in the market for a used vehicle will find price stickers looking more and more favorable over the coming months.
As Forbes reports: “Already, the NADA Used Car Guide’s seasonally adjusted used vehicle price index dropped by 3.6 over the first quarter of 2016, which is the first year-over-year dip since the onset of the Great Recession.”
Tips for Used Car Buyers
Experts say that those who are looking to get a great value on used vehicle should look at the makes and models that have been among the most-leased over the past five years. Some examples include:
- Toyota Camry
- Honda Civic
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Corolla
- Honda CR-V
- Ford Escape
- Nissan Altima
- Ford Fusion
- Lexus RX 350
- Toyota RAV-4
Though it is worth noting a lack of pickup trucks on this list—a class of vehicles that is not leased nearly as often, with most truck-lovers preferring to buy them outright—there is still plenty of diversity to choose from here.
Another tip: The best deals will be found in the markets where leasing is most common, which tend to be major metropolitan areas. For those in California, Los Angeles and Orange County should boast burgeoning used inventories and competitive prices.
Beyond that, we recommend simply educating yourself about the dos and don’ts of used car buying. A good resource to begin with is our blog at Get My Auto. Visit the site today to learn more!