Writer admin Time 2018-04-09 18:46:41
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 Bargain prices on 2- and 3-year-old vehicles fueled record sales of used cars, trucks and SUVs last year, a trend that is expected to continue because people can save thousands of dollars over buying new.


Used vehicle sales hit 39.2 million vehicles in 2017, more than double the number of new automobiles sold, according to the Edmunds.com auto website. To be sure, Americans for years have bought more used cars than new, but a recent glut of well-equipped vehicles coming off leases is sending more people to the used market.

That cut into new vehicle sales last year, helping to push them down 2 percent. And the trend is likely to continue because leasing remains around a near-record 30 percent of all U.S. new vehicle sales. That will provide an ample supply of used cars for at least three more years, said Ivan Drury, senior manager of industry analysis for Edmunds. (Edmunds regularly provides content, including automotive tips and reviews, for distribution by The Associated Press.)

"In almost every instance, that 3-year-old car is going to save you so much money it wouldn't make any financial sense" to choose new, Drury said.

About 4 million vehicles are coming into the used market from leases this year, many of them cars that can be bought cheaply because buyers are more interested in SUVs.

On average, the buyer of a 3-year-old car can save $14,000 over buying the same car new, according to Edmunds.

New vehicle prices continue to rise to record levels, pushing some people out of the market and making off-lease vehicles even more attractive, Drury said. At the same time, the rate of increase for used cars is slowing due to abundant supply, so the gap between new and used prices is growing.