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Used Car Boom Gives U.S. Buyers More Options

» Posted May 11, 2018Resources | Share This Post

In 2017, sales of used vehicles hit 39.2 million. This is more than double the number of  new cars that were sold. Buyers of used cars can often get a bargain price compared with a new vehicle, but there are significant risks to be aware of including the possibility that the used car will have major problems or unrepaired recalls. 

Of course, buyers of both new and old vehicles are always at risk of loss due to vehicle defects, but those who purchase new cars may be able to take advantage of consumer protection laws with help from a California lemon law attorney.

Used cars have become a popular option, despite the fact buyers may not have the same protections on  used as new vehicles, in large part because prices have become very affordable for used cars. As ABC News reported, there are many bargain prices on two and three year old vehicles, which has made the savings from buying used even more substantial compared with buying new. This is driving borrowers to choose old instead of new cars.

Buyers Opt for Older Vehicles As the Used Car Market Becomes Flooded With Bargain Prices

According to ABC News, new vehicle sales fell two percent last year as used vehicle sales rose – and this trend is likely going to continue in the future due to the fact that record numbers of vehicles are being leased. Close to 30 percent of all U.S. cars are leased now, which means that all of these off-lease vehicles will provide used cars for buyers in a few years.  This glut of used vehicles coming onto the market naturally makes used cars much cheaper than they  otherwise would be.

Used cars that are a few years old and that come off lease have always been significantly cheaper than new cars. The buyer of a three-year old used vehicle can save, on average, $14,000 compared with purchasing a brand new car.

However, the gap between used and new cars has accelerated in recent years, thanks to the fact new car prices are going up faster than used car prices and thanks to the fact that there are so many used cars, which drives the price of those used cars down.

While the average price for a new vehicle was $30,803 in 2012, the average price had gone up by almost $4,400 at the end of 2018. By contrast, the average price for a new car went up just $2,784 at the end of 2017 compared with in 2012. The difference in price of a new vehicle versus a used one grew by almost $1,600 between 2012 and 2017.

Obviously, consumers don't want to spend thousands more if they have the option to get a vehicle that is in great shape and is just a few years old. And, since around four million vehicles will come off leases and into the used car market this year,  there will be even more used cars so prices are likely to continue to remain far below new vehicle costs.

Whether you buy a new or an old car, it's important to understand your rights. A California lemon law attorney  can provide you with help understanding your options if you buy a new car that has serious defects, so you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.


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