SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Certified pre-owned (CPO) car sales are up 6.2 percent this year compared with the first three months of 2012, and the segment’s 21 percent share of all used-car sales by franchise dealers in the first quarter was the highest it has ever been, according to a new report from Edmunds.com.

“Car manufacturers love certified pre-owned programs because they attract new customers, strengthen loyalty and help to move off-lease inventory,” commented Edmunds.com Director of Used Car Analysis Joe Spina. “We can expect even higher levels of CPO sales later this year as dealers absorb a growing influx of lease returns.”

According to the company’s new quarterly Used Car Market Report, used-car retail prices at franchise dealerships ($15,793, on average) remained relatively flat, up 0.5 percent year over year. Also, Subaru vehicles sold faster at franchise dealerships than any other used-car brand in the first quarter, while Volvo’s used sales were the slowest.

Edmunds.com expects a typical seasonal price pattern for used cars this year: an increase in the spring, stability through early summer months, and then a decrease thereafter.

To read the report, click here.

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