Used-Vehicle Supply is Lean for Spring Selling Season
Friday February 17, 2023
- The average used-vehicle asking price slipped to $27,143, lower than a year ago.
- Used-vehicle inventory held steady at 2.32 million units available.
- Used-vehicle sales remain stable but could soften this year.
The supply of used vehicles is lean as the spring selling season seems to be kicking off early this year, according to the Cox Automotive analysis of vAuto Available Inventory data.
as of Jan. 23, 2023
Average Listing Price
The total supply of unsold used vehicles on dealer lots, both franchised dealers and independents, across the U.S. stood at 2.21 million units at the close of January. That inventory level was down from a revised 2.32 million at the end of December and down 14% from the 2.56 million in January 2022.
The total days’ supply at the end of January stood at 48, down from the revised 57 days’ supply at the end of December. Days’ supply was 13 days below the year-ago level. The lower inventory levels are sending many dealers into the wholesale auction lanes to help restock the shelves, which has been pushing wholesale prices higher.
The Cox Automotive days’ supply is based on the daily sales rate for the most recent 30-day period. Sales were relatively strong, just ahead of the spring selling season, up 13% from a year ago. Sales for the full calendar month were initially estimated to be down 8% but showed strength near the end of the month. The team is expecting upward revisions to the initial January estimate when the data sets are updated.
Used-vehicle listing prices slipped again in January. The average listing price was $26,510 at the end of January, down from the revised $27,195 at the end of December.
Average Used-Vehicle Listing Price Giving Back Some Post-COVID Gains
Prices still falling – on average – but rate of decline now 4%
As with new cars, the lower the price, the tighter the inventory. Days’ supply for under $10,000 vehicles was 35. Days’ supply for vehicles priced between $10,000 and $15,000 was 42, between $15,000 and $20,000 was 46 and $20,000 to $35,000 around 50. Used vehicles with listing prices above $35,000 had the highest days’ supply at 53.
Toyota-branded vehicles had the lowest supply at 30 days, followed by Acura, Honda, Mazda, Lexus and Nissan at 45 days.
For more insights on used-vehicle inventory using a 30-day rolling sales methodology to calculate days’ supply, reach out to the Cox Automotive Public Relations team.
Michelle Krebs is executive analyst at Cox Automotive.