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Retail used-vehicle sales jump 15.9%, highest monthly volume since 2022

In addition to overall retail used-vehicle sales, certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle sales also saw a month-over-month increase in May

Retail used-vehicle sales in May saw a significant increase, marking the highest level this year, according to an analysis of Cox Automotive’s vAuto data. Sales rose by 15.9% month-over-month, with 1.62 million used vehicles sold at retail through both franchised and independent dealers, marking a 15.8% increase compared to May 2022. The days’ supply of used vehicles, which had been at 48 at the start of May, dropped back to 45 days by the beginning of June due to the uptick in sales.

According to Scott Vanner, senior Economic and Industry Insights analyst at Cox Automotive, “Following a less-than-spectacular spring selling season, May used-vehicle retail sales rebounded to the highest level this year.” He added, “Used retail sales volume is higher than any month since March 2022, when tax refunds were juicing the market.”

The increase in sales is based on observed unit changes tracked by vAuto, a Cox Automotive brand specializing in inventory management.

In addition to overall retail used-vehicle sales, certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle sales also saw a month-over-month increase in May. CPO sales saw a 2.8% increase compared to May 2023, with sales of over 6,000 additional units. The estimated CPO sales volume for May was 225,704, up from 209,265 in April, reflecting a 7.9% increase. However, year-to-date total CPO sales volume is only slightly higher than last year, by 0.7%.

These positive trends in used-vehicle sales come after a slow spring selling season, indicating a robust rebound as consumers return. The data underscores the dynamic nature of the used vehicle market and highlights the importance of inventory management in responding to changing market conditions.

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