Buyers move to used vehicles as new autos hit record prices


In this July 8, 2019, photo, Honda cars wait to be exported at Yokohama port, near Tokyo. Honda recorded a 6.7% decline in July-September profit as vehicle and motorcycle sales slipped and an unfavorable exchange rate hurt earnings at the Japanese automaker, Honda Motor Co. reported Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

DETROIT (AP) – The average sale price of a new vehicle in the U.S. hit a record of just over $39,000 late last year, chasing many buyers into used vehicles. says consumers bought an estimated 40.4 million used vehicles last year, likely passing the old record of 40.2 million set in 2018.

The shift to used is being aided by millions of late-model vehicles coming off two- and three-year leases.

That’s good for consumers who can get well-equipped cars, trucks and SUVs for far less than new ones. But it could be bad for automakers, with many industry analysts expecting new-vehicle sales to fall in 2020.

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