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Data Point

Used-Vehicle Inventory Remains Tight to Start October


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Article Highlights

  1. Used-vehicle inventory stood at 2.26 million units at the beginning of October.
  2. Used days’ supply was 47, a decrease from the beginning of September.
  3. The average used-vehicle listing price remained below $27,000.

Updated, Nov. 10, 2023 – Used-vehicle inventory volume and days’ supply are tighter year over year at the start of October, according to the Cox Automotive analysis of vAuto Available Inventory data.  


Total Unsold
Used Vehicles
as of Oct. 2, 2023


Days’ Supply


Average Listing Price


Average Mileage

The total supply of unsold used vehicles on dealer lots across the U.S. – franchised and independent – stood at 2.26 million units at the beginning of October. That was down 8%, or 197,866 units, from the same time a year ago.

Using estimates of used retail days’ supply based on vAuto data, an initial assessment indicates September ended at 49 days’ supply, flat with the revised 49 days at the end of August and five days lower than how September 2022 ended at 54 days. Days’ supply for the used-vehicle market has fluctuated in the mid-to-high 40s since April.

“The number of used vehicles available for purchase has remained higher than the low point seen in early April,” said Chris Frey, senior manager of Economic and Industry Insights at Cox Automotive. “However, the overall used-vehicle inventory volume is still considered to be limited and has been stuck in the 2.2-2.3 million range for the past four months.”

The Cox Automotive days’ supply is based on the daily sales rate for the most recent 30-day period, ending October 2, when sales were 1.44 million units, up 6% compared to the same period in 2022. Year-to-date retail sales through the beginning of October are now down 3% compared to the same timeframe last year.

“Currently, the UAW strike has only had a minimal effect on the auto market,” Frey noted. “And progress between the UAW and the automakers is being made, according to the latest statement from UAW President Shawn Fain. However, if the strike continues or is expanded, it could potentially have more of an impact on the wholesale and, ultimately, the retail used-vehicle market.”

Average Used-Vehicle Listing Price Remains Under $27,000

The average used-vehicle listing price of $26,752 at the beginning of October was up from the start of September but down 5% compared to the same period in 2022. Used-vehicle listing prices have been below $27,000 since the beginning of July. Meanwhile, according to the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, wholesale prices increased 1.0% in September from August and were down 3.9% year over year.


Prices have held at the same levels for about 8 weeks in a row

As with new cars, and as has been the case for months, the lower the price segment, the tighter the inventory. Used vehicles priced under $10,000 had a days’ supply of 32, with days’ supply increasing with every higher price segment to the over $35,000 category with the highest days’ supply of 58.

Honda, Mazda and Toyota were the non-luxury brands with the lowest inventory of used vehicles through September. Honda had 39 days’ supply, while Mazda and Toyota both had 40 days’ supply. Most other mainstream brands – both luxury and non-luxury – had used-vehicle days’ supply under 50.

Rebecca Rydzewski
Research Manager of Economic and Industry Insights

Rebecca Rydzewski is an automotive analyst with over 20 years of experience in the automotive industry. She provides industry and data analysis using consumer and industry data from Cox Automotive and its brands including Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. Rydzewski joined Cox Automotive in March 2022.

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