The average price of a used car sat at $28,205 at the end of December, according to Cox Automotive, marking the first time the median price of a second-hand vehicle in the U.S. has surpassed the $28,000 mark.
December’s average of $28,205 marked a rather significant month-to-month increase from November of 2021, when the average price of a used vehicle stood at $27,726. In a sure sign of today’s ultra-hot used vehicle market, November’s average was the first time the average price of a used car broke the $27,000 mark, only for the next month to break through yet another price ceiling.
Used car prices continue to rise despite more vehicles coming into the market, too. The total supply of unsold used vehicles on dealer lots across the U.S. climbed to 2.38 million units at the end of December, compared to 2.25 million at the end of November. Experts have predicted used car prices will begin to cool off once more vehicles entered the market, however this data may suggest used car prices are beginning to detach from supply levels and will continue to rise even as more inventory becomes available.
While more vehicles are beginning to enter the used market, supply levels remained much lower last month than in December of 2020. Cox Automotive says there was nine percent more used vehicles on hand in December of 2020 than in December of 2021.
Just as in months previous, the under $10,000 price segment had the lowest supply of used vehicles in December, with less than 7,000 vehicles on record for a paltry says’ supply of 39. The segments ranging from the $10,000 to $25,000 mark had days’ supply between 46 and 48, according to Cox Automotive, while the $25,000 to $30,000 category had the most supply with more than 1 million vehicles in stock for 52 days of supply. Price categories above $30,000 also had a days’ supply level of over 50.