CarGurus Releases 2017 Used Car Market Insights Report
Analysis Highlights Shifts in Consumer Interest, Used Car Price Trends and Impact of Extreme Weather Events
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., January 29, 2018 - CarGurus, a leading online automotive marketplace, today released its 2017 Used Car Market Insights Report, an analysis of the trends that influenced used car shopping activity in 2017 and will set the stage for 2018. Key findings include:
- Used car prices held strong in 2017, up 1.0 percent year over year
- Newer used and very old model cars dominated inventory
- Large brands dominated consumer search, but several smaller brands made big gains
- Consumer interest in larger vehicles continued to grow
- Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused major market disruption
Used car prices increased in 2017, ending the year on a strong note.
The CarGurus Used Price Index, which tracks the average list price of a used car in the U.S., was $19,694 on December 1, 2017 up 1.0% year over year. In addition, the year ended with an unusual 1.3 percent uptick in prices since August, traditionally a time when used prices begin to decline for the year.
Newer used, and much older cars, dominated the market.
Three-year-old cars represented the largest change in share of new-to-market used inventory, mostly due to lease returns. Interestingly, vehicles 10 years-old and older saw a 4.6 percent year-over-year increase in share of used inventory, showing that more of these older cars are hitting the used marked compared to 2016.
The largest brands remained the most searched, but several smaller brands made big gains in consumer interest.
As in 2016, Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota were the three most-searched brands in 2017, but their share of interest relative to other brands declined with CarGurus shoppers this year. Smaller-volume brands Audi, Lexus, Porsche and Subaru each saw big gains in consumer interest, largely driven by searches for specific models within each brand.
Car shoppers' interest in larger vehicles continued to rise.
There was a relative increase in used SUV and crossover searches in 2017, mostly due to lower gas prices coupled with an increase in vehicle choice. This segment was the most searched overall in 2017, with a 2.0 percent share increase over 2016. Sedans remained the second most searched body style, though share of search interest dropped by 3.2 percent compared to the prior year.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused major market disruption.
Extreme weather events typically suppress consumer interest in car shopping for a few days. This was the case with both Hurricanes Irma in Houston and Harvey in Florida as residents focused on storm prep, lost power or evacuated. After each hurricane, the search volume rebounded to levels higher than prior to the storm, particularly in the Houston area as more cars were damaged by Harvey than Irma.
An analysis of these 2017 findings can be found in the complete report "Data Driven: CarGurus 2017 Used Car Market Insights Report."
The data contained in this report is based on the analysis of millions of used car listings, used car list prices, consumer searches, and consumer listings inquiries to sellers on the CarGurus US platform during the dates indicated throughout the report. Changes in shopper search interest and vehicle inventory are measured as a percentage/share of all shopper searches or inventory on CarGurus.com and do not reflect the actual number of searches or cars on the site. The CarGurus Used Car Price Index tracks the average list price of a used car available for sale in the US. There are on average more than 5 million cars advertised for sale on CarGurus.com from dealers and private sellers every day.
This report is intended to offer insights on automotive trends and developments in the US used car market. The data and analysis contained in this report are in no way indicative of the operational performance of CarGurus or its reported financial metrics.
Founded in 2006, CarGurus (NASDAQ:CARG) is a global, online automotive marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of new and used cars. The company uses proprietary technology, search algorithms and data analytics to bring trust and transparency to the automotive search experience and help users find great deals from top rated dealers. In addition to the United States, CarGurus operates online marketplaces in Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. To learn more about CarGurus, visit www.cargurus.com.