Total used-vehicle sales were down 18% year-over-year in July, according to Cox Automotive estimates.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of sales declined to 36.9 million, down from 44.8 million in July 2020, which was a strong used-vehicle sales month and the early days of the initial pandemic recovery. July 2021 numbers are also down compared to 39 million in June.
Total used-vehicle sales volume last month was estimated at 3.1 million, down from 3.2 million in June.
Used-vehicles sales are showing signs of slowing after a frenzied spring pace. Retail used-vehicle inventories have modestly improved since April and May, and wholesale prices have cooled from record highs in June. Nevertheless, listing prices of retail used vehicles have kept climbing. Last month, the average list price of a retail used car was $25,500, an all-time high, according to an analysis of vAuto Available Inventory data.
Slowed in part by high prices, retail-used sales — vehicles sold via a dealership, thus removing private party sales — dropped in July as well, falling to an estimated 1.7 million, down from 1.8 million in June and 2 million in July 2020. The July sales volume translates to an annual sales pace of 20.2 million, down from 23.7 million last July and down month-over-month from June.