The used car market is alive and well in the United States. On average, over 57 million automobiles are sold in the USA each year, 68% of which (39 million) are used cars. The used car market alone represents $363 billion dollars in gross sales (more than the entire GDP of Colombia).
The increase of new car sales over the past several years means an increased inventory of used cars too due to trade-ins. These used cars often stay on dealer lots and are re-sold as certified pre-owned or used vehicles, or they are sent off to an auto auction where a used car dealer picks them up with confidence that they’ll be able to sell them on their lot.
However, there is a bit of a shortage of quality used cars now. The Wall Street Journal reports that people are hanging onto their used cars longer for two main reasons: 1) the last generations of cars are built better and can often easily last to 200,000 miles or more and 2) obviously, they are cheaper than upgrading to a new car.
Even so, over 40 million used cars sold in 2012, an increase of 4.4% over 2011 and the trends continue into 2013. Check out the infographic below for more stats on the state of the 2012 used car market.