By Tyler Durden
It looks as though the spike in used-car prices that we endured through 2021, and that continued as a result of the devastating inflation we have had so far in 2022, may finally be coming to an unceremonious end.
That’s because search trends for the terms “sell my car” have exploded higher leading into September 2022, a new study from findthebestcarprice.com found this week.
The site performed an analysis of Google search data and found that “searches for ‘sell my car’ exploded to over three times the average volume in September, an unprecedented increase in people searching for ‘sell my car’”.
The terms “how to sell my car” and “sell car” also spiked higher, by 145% and 104%, respectively.
Between August 25 and September 1, searches for “sell my car” rose by 177%, the report said. They rose another 15% on September 4 after the the U.S. Labor Department announced that the unemployment rate has risen from 3.5% to 3.7%, the study says.
“The U.S. has already dealt with rising bills over the past few months due to inflation and the soaring costs of gas,” a spokesperson for the site said.
“Now, as experts such as Stephen Roach are predicting that a recession is looming, consumers are having to make cutbacks in order to save money. Google Trends data reveals that more households are looking to sell their car to bring in some extra income. We will likely see this trend continue if the cost of living remains high and the U.S. continues negative growth into the fall.”
The top 10 states with the most search data on selling cars were:
- South Carolina
We noted just days ago that used-car pricing had plunged to a one-year low.
The latest Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index that tracks what dealers pay for used cars at auction is at a one-year low of 211.6.
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Used car prices drop to 1 year low, plunge most since April 2020 pic.twitter.com/Biez6v9DuE
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) August 30, 2022
The index declined 3.6% from July in the first 15 days of August but is still up 8.8% from August 2021. The monthly slump was the most significant drop since April 2020.
Cox Automotive analysts said sliding wholesale used-vehicle values should continue through August. SUVs and pickups saw the most declines in value at auctions while minivans fell less — likely a function of thin supply, according to analysts. They said compact cars saw auction prices stable, noting it was likely due to more demand because elevated fuel costs have pushed consumers to more efficient vehicles.
A metric called “days of inventory” – how long it would take dealers to sell out of cars at the current sales rate if they couldn’t acquire new stock – was eight days higher than a year ago as the nationwide supply of used vehicles (as of Aug. 15) was improving.
Cox analysts noted consumers’ views of buying conditions for vehicles declined in August due to elevated prices and soaring rising interest rates. They said the only prior time consumers felt this pessimistic about purchasing a car was when auto loan interest rates were sky high in the early 1980s.
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