The old days with the stereotypical "Have I got a deal for you" line at used car dealers have now been replaced with carefully inspected vehicles and extended warranties which are big sellers for customers.
Used car dealers like Basil Resale Centers say they have had record sales figures in recent months with people seeking out good deals on low mileage vehicles. Some are looking for better gas mileage with the soaring pump prices but others just want to stretch their dollars in tighter times.
Ironically used car prices actually went up in recent years, especially following the 2009 Cash for Clunkers program which the government subsidized to help the auto industry. People were encouraged to trade in their older gas guzzling vehicles for newer more fuel efficient models. But the trade-ins were actually destroyed for scrap under that program and that caused a shortage in the used car inventory. That in turn raised prices.
Now dealers say some of those new purchases from 2009 are coming back on the market or popular lease programs are expiring. So there is more of a pre-owned selection on the lots.
Another factor which boosts consumer confidence is the extended warranties of up to 100,000 miles on some cars which may be passed on beyond the original owner. Certified record check programs like Carfax is also a plus for buyers.
There may also be more competition in the used car market. Some dealers which lost their brand name new car line with industry consolidation have now gone into the used car business. More of the luxury car lines have also entered the pre-owned market.