The average used-vehicle listing price was $25,571, up slightly from the revised $25,536 at the start of April but down 6% from a year earlier. Retail used vehicle prices have been consistently...

The average used-vehicle listing price was $25,571, up slightly from the revised $25,536 at the start of April but down 6% from a year earlier. Retail used vehicle prices have been consistently lower through the first four months of 2024 compared to year-ago levels.

Graphic: Cox Automotive

Used-vehicle inventory levels at the start of May exceeded those in April as sales fueled by tax refunds slowed, according to the Cox Automotive analysis of vAuto Live Market data.

In all, the tax refund season – oftentimes a lift for the used-vehicle market – was unremarkable in 2024, delivering a muted “spring bounce.”

The total supply of used vehicles on dealer lots – franchised and independent – across the U.S. stood at 2.27 million units as May opened, up 6% from a year ago and up from the 2.22 million units at the start of April.

As tax refund season ended, the market saw a slowing of sales in new and used vehicles. Inventory levels of both increased through April. (Read about new-vehicle inventory.) Used-vehicle days’ supply at the start of May was 46 days, compared with the revised 45 days at the start of April, a 2% increase. Against last year, days’ supply was unchanged at the beginning of May.

The Cox Automotive days’ supply is based on the estimated daily retail sales rate for the most recent 30-day period, when sales were 1.46 million units. Used-vehicle sales in the period were up more than 7% year over year.

The average used-vehicle listing price was $25,571, up slightly from the revised $25,536 at the start of April but down 6% from a year earlier. Retail used vehicle prices have been consistently lower through the first four months of 2024 compared to year-ago levels.

Used cars below $15,000 continue to show constrained availability with only 36 days’ supply, 22% less than all other price ranges. Affordability remains challenging for consumers, and supply is more constrained at lower price points.

The top five sellers of the month sold at an average price of $23,316, more than 9% below the average listing price for all vehicles sold, and were once again Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Honda and Nissan, accounting for 49% of all used vehicles sold. By region, the South is running with the lowest days’ supply.

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