The inventory of used vehicles edged higher at the end of April compared to March as the spring selling closed out and sales slowed.
But supply remains below year-ago levels, according to the Cox Automotive analysis of vAuto Available Inventory data released May 12, and days of supply have slipped. Meanwhile, the average listing price climbed to about $27,000.
The total supply of unsold used vehicles on dealer lots, both franchised dealers and independents, across the U.S. stood at 2.11 million units by end of April. That was up from a revised 2.06 million at the end of March but down 16%, or 400,000 units, from the same time a year ago.
Days' Supply Dips Down
The total days’ supply at the end of April stood at 41, down from the revised 44 days’ supply at the end of March. Days’ supply was 13% below the year-ago levels.
The Cox Automotive days’ supply is based on the daily sales rate for the most recent 30-day period, ending April 24, when sales were 1.44 million units, down 4% from a year ago. After a relatively strong spring selling season, used vehicle sales for the full calendar month of April were down 8% from April 2022.
The average used vehicle listing price closed April at $26,799, the highest since mid-January but down 4% from the same period a year ago. According to the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, wholesale prices are dropping, suggesting retail prices may dip as well. However, the average price likely will stay relatively high since few new vehicles were sold in recent years and little leasing was done, so newer used vehicles are in short supply and in high demand.
As with new cars, the lower the price, the tighter the inventory, and days’ supply by segment remained unchanged in April from March. Days’ supply for under $10,000 vehicles was 31. Days’ supply for vehicles priced between $10,000 and $15,000 was 37, between $15,000 and $20,000 was 40 and $20,000 to $35,000 was 44. Vehicles priced above $35,000 had the highest days’ supply at 46.
Non-luxury used vehicles with the lowest inventory – all below the industry average – were from Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda and Volkswagen. Luxury used vehicles with the lowest inventory were from Acura, Infiniti and Lexus.