Topic: used cars
In November, new inventory levels continued to improve, increasing 1.5% from October and now up nearly 37% compared to last year. Interestingly, used inventory saw a decline of nearly 4% from October, but remains up over 21% compared to last year. Prices declined (slightly) across the board. Average new vehicle listing prices declined 0.1% compared to October, while used vehicles saw a slightly larger decline of nearly 1%. Both new and used prices remain well above their 2021 levels. Rising new inventory levels helped increase days-on-market by 5.5% compared to October. Used inventory increased by 2.5%, due to higher priced vehicles sitting on market for longer and pulling up the overall average.
In October, new inventory continued its path to recovery with levels rising over 3% compared to last month; now up 34% year-over-year. Used inventory also saw an increase of nearly 1% and is now up nearly 24% year-over-year. These trends signal that both new and used consumers are finally seeing more vehicles available to them. Pricing trends continued to diverge further with used prices declining 1% month-over-month while new prices saw a further increase of over 2% month-over-month; both new and used are still seeing significant spreads year-over-year. Days-on-market increased in line with rising inventory levels; the days-on-market for new and used now stand squarely between 2020 and 2021 levels.
In a positive shift, September saw new inventory levels rise with index readings increasing 18.7% compared to last year. Used inventory was effectively flat month-over-month, but is similarly up 21.1% year-over-year. Unfortunately, the improving inventory levels didn’t help bring down prices significantly. New vehicle prices increased 1% and used vehicle prices declined just 0.6% compared to last month while they remain up 27.8% and 29.9% year-over-year, respectively. Interestingly, days-on-market is effectively flat year-over-year with new levels up 3.9% and used up 1.2%.
When it comes to January data trends, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Even though new and used vehicle inventory levels increased in January, it’s possible that the increase was not exclusively due to improving vehicle production. It’s likely that consumers are also starting to sit out from historically high prices. Even with the small increases in January, overall inventory is still significantly impacted compared to last year, with new inventory down nearly 50% and used down 18.4%.
Though 2021 got off to a turbulent start with Covid restrictions in place across provinces, car shoppers continued to search for and research vehicles online. To see which cars sat at the top of shoppers’ wish lists, we dug into our search data from the first quarter. In particular, we looked at which makes and models were the most searched on CarGurus in each Canadian province and territory.
CarGurus Director of Sales in Canada Sam LaPointe recently joined Joe Overby of Auto Remarketing Canada to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities facing car dealers in Canada. In the podcast, they also delve into topics including:
The majority of consumers in Canada have seen their life change in some way, shape, or form because of COVID-19. One example of this is people’s driving habits. Daily commutes have changed drastically for many and frequent trips to the store, gym, school, childcare facility, etc. are no longer the norm. Though many, if not most, will eventually return to their previous driving habits, the fact that people are staying home more and driving less has the potential to impact buying activity.
As a result, I wondered how such a significant shift in consumer behaviour might influence shoppers’ search behaviour and interest in vehicles this year. To answer this question, I analyzed used vehicle leads on CarGurus for the first half of 2020 and compared it to the used vehicle leads we saw for the same criteria in 2019.
It’s hard to believe that the decade is almost over. As we inch closer to 2020, we searched our archive to find our top five favorite dealer resources, stories, and highlights from the past year. We hope to continue sharing stories and best practices like these well into 2020.