DENVER (CBS4) – Despite the struggling economy new car sales this month are on track to hit their highest level since April. Part of the reason may be many drivers are cashing on great deals to trade in their current vehicles.
Right now dealers can’t get enough used cars on the lot.
Doug Thomas had heard the used car market was at a premium, so he sniffed it out.
“It was almost two years into a four-year lease and I didn’t dream they could actually make a deal,” Thomas said.
He went to the Emich dealership on Colorado Boulevard and started negotiating.
“I shot them a number that I frankly thought they wouldn’t take,” he said.
But they did. He drove off that afternoon in a 2012 Volkswagen CC. The same make and model he had and the best part of the deal was the price.
“The lease payments are $65 a month less.”
Like Emich, all dealerships are looking to make deals.
“The customer has the power here,” Dave Guttenberg with Emich said.
Car dealers and brokers need used cars.
“I’ve been in the business 27 years. I’ve never, ever been in a market like this,” Bud Brown of H.M. Brown said.
Three years ago the car industry hit bottom. Nobody was buying new cars. Fast forward three years and the impact now is the shortage of used cars. Since 2008 prices on used cars are up about 30 percent.
“By and large I think new cars are a better value right now. I think you can get a better payment, strangely, on a new car than you can on a used car,” Brown said.
An Emich customer driving a 2009 Jetta with a 48-month lease pays $390 a month. Emich is offering her the 2012 model. If she agrees to a 48-month lease she’ll pay $282 a month — $108 less than she’s paying now.
“If I needed to get that car I’d have to go really scour the entire country to get it, and I’d pay a premium to do. So we might as well pay that premium and sell a car in the process,” Guttenberg said.