SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Last year marked a record-setting year for the used vehicle market, according to Edmunds.com's 2015 Used Vehicle Market Report. It showed that a total of 38,276,140 used cars were sold in 2015, a 5.6% increase over the prior-year period and the highest single-year total since 2007.
Aside from rising unit sales, the report showed that the average price of each used car sold also went up. In 2015, the average used car sold for $18,600, an increase of 4.6% over 2014's average used car price.
“The key factor driving all of the trends in used-car sales today is the popularity of leasing, which is bringing younger and higher quality used cars back in the market,” said Jessica Caldwell, director of Industry Analysis at Edmunds.com. “We’re truly in the midst of a Golden Age for ceritfied pre-owned and near-new used cars. And with a record number of lease terminations expected in 2016, there certainly will be no shortage of supply to meet the growing demand for used cars.”
In the past five years, the reported noted, CPO sales have grown by 55%. That growth culminated in a record-setting 2.55 million CPO vehicles sold in 2015.
Franchise dealers, in particular, benefited from the surge in CPO sales, according to the report. Franchise dealers set a single-year record, selling 11.4 million used cars, 22.4% of which were CPO.
The report also found that the influx in leasing, and the resulting lease returns, have brought the average age of used cars down to 4.4 years. In 2015, the report noted, 54% of used cars sold were three years or younger.