The average listing price of a used vehicle closed in on the $27,000 mark in September amid sustained high demand.
According to Cox Automotive, the average listing price of a used car, truck or SUV last month was $26,646 – up from $25,890 in August. The market research firm says the average list price of a used vehicle in September 2021 was about 25 percent higher than in September 2020. For context, the average listing price of a used vehicle surpassed the $20,000 mark for the first time ever in August 2020 and has climbed consistently from month-to-month ever since.
While listing prices continued to climb, inventory levels stabilized slightly in September. The total supply of unsold used vehicles on dealer lots across the U.S. stood at roughly 2.3 million units at the end of September – up from 2.27 million at the end of August. The days’ supply of unsold used vehicles at the end of last month was 43, up from 38 at the end of August. Cox says days’ supply is only 1 percent below year-ago levels – a potential sign that demand in the used vehicle market is beginning to return to a more reasonable level.
Used vehicles priced at under $10,000 had the lowest days’ supply at 33, while the $10,000 to $25,000 price range had between 38- and 39-days’ supply. The supply for the $25,000 to $30,000 category stood at 45 days, while the above $35,000 category had the highest supply at 50 days.
While the used vehicle market is beginning to cool off, Cox Automotive Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough believes prices of second-hand cars, trucks and SUVs will remain elevated so long as the chip shortage continues to slow new-vehicle production output.
“Prospective buyers unable to purchase a new vehicle and not trading in their existing vehicle limits the availability of used products at dealers,” he explained. “This situation is likely to persist until the new-vehicle supply crisis passes.”
Some experts believe the chip supply pinch could last into 2023 as chipmakers continue to work overtime to try and meet elevated demand.