Used Cars in Demand – What You Need to Know

In 2016, the United States showed record vehicle sales overall, including both new and used vehicles. It’s the used vehicle market that has everyone in the auto industry paying attention.  Car haulers, dealers, rental car companies, lenders…we are watching what’s going on in the used vehicle sector. Used cars are having a moment. The market is flooded with used vehicles and that may be great for consumers and dealers alike.

However, there’s also a lot at stake: consumers can get a great deal on a used car right now which means a lot of business for dealers. But if used car prices get too low signaling a drop in value, that can hurt new vehicle sales and the industry overall. It’s a delicate balance that we’re following carefully. A recent Bloomberg article explores the off-lease surge in detail. Leasing became an attractive option for consumers after the recession, with leases climbing in 2013-2015. Those 3-year lease terms are starting to end, causing a surge in lease vehicle returns into the market.

Are you in the market for a used vehicle?

As we mentioned, there are plenty available and this might be the best time to buy a used car. To take advantage of the rising sales you’ll be seeing more stand-alone, preowned stores popping up like CarMax and AutoNation USA. The latter is using Texas as the launch for the first of five stores, opening in Houston then Corpus Christi with Phoenix and Las Vegas as other markets.

Those 3-year leases returning into the market? Our friends over at CarGurus published a great piece dissecting some of the most reliable 2014 models available, based on data gathered from J.D. Power. If you want a used car that will be dependable, check these out for sure.

Of course, anytime you talk about used cars the term “Certified Pre-Owned” or “CPO” will come into play.

What exactly is a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Car?

You’ve probably heard the term certified pre-owned at a car lot if you’ve been in the market for a used vehicle lately. But what does that really mean? Do you need a CPO car? Is it worth the extra cash? Basically, a certified pre-owned is an extra band of protection for used car buyers. You might even say that buying a CPO vehicle is better than purchasing a brand new car because you never have to worry about the one-in-a-million defects or mechanical issues that can occur with cars that have never been driven. Every brand has different requirements for a car to become “certified” based on the age of the model, how many miles are on it and most of the time it must pass a rigorous inspection as well.

What should you ask at a dealership or when buying a CPO car online?

  • Make sure the “certified” pre-owned label is issued by the manufacturer of the vehicle, and not the dealership itself. A “certified” vehicle carrying a label from an independent dealer may not mean much, if anything at all.
  • Ask if there is a warranty and what the stipulations of that warranty may be from the manufacturer.
  • Ask if anything was replaced or repaired during the inspection that led to the certification.

Good luck in your car buying experience! If you’re interested in purchasing a vehicle online, don’t forget to check out our (rockstar) guide to online car buying so you don’t get caught in a scam! Got car questions? Need to transport a used car? Contact us or reach out on our social media channels like Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

Would you buy a Car on your Smart Phone?Is now the best time to buy a car?