Thanks in part to surging sales of 1- to 5-year-old vehicles — right in the wheelhouse of many certified pre-owned programs — the total value of all used cars sold industry-wide last month climbed more than 16 percent year-over-year and reached a whopping sum of $35.8 billion, according to CNW Research.
The firm said in an analysis released Monday that sales of these later-model vehicles — a good portion of which were, in fact, sold as CPO units — rose 28.3 percent in December, helping to drive up the total value of used vehicles sold.
For franchised dealers, the total value of their used-car sales in December was nearly $20 billion, which was ahead of December 2013 figures by 18.4 percent.
The figure was at $8.5 billion at independent dealerships (a 7.5-percent hike), while the value of private-party sales was $7.3 billion, a 22-percent increase.
These increases occurred despite used unit sales decreasing in December for both franchised dealers, which were down more than 5 percent, and independents, whose sales fell close to 3 percent.
CNW did note, however, that transaction prices for franchised dealers had jumped more than 3 percent month-over-month.
Overall, there were 3.32 million used sales in December, compared to 3.28 million in December 2013. This capped a relatively strong year for used-car sales.
How Shoppers Find Your Inventory
As far as where buyers are turning to buy these cars, CNW has found that many more are hitting the road and getting out of town. In fact, there was a 23-percent month-over-month increase in the number of buyers who ventured to a neighboring market to buy their car.
In perhaps a related trend, just under 4.5 million buyers said they were motivated to visit a dealership by something Web-related, which is 37.13 percent higher than year-ago figures. Meanwhile, the number of shoppers who were prompted by a print newspaper ad (4.44 million) was down 18.7 percent.
“That is the first time Internet motivation exceeded print newspapers,” CNW president Art Spinella said in the firm’s analysis.