Preowned, off-lease vehicle sales skyrocketing in metro Detroit amid pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has sent used car prices through the roof and turned the business upsidedown. It's causing changes for people looking to buy, sell and lease. 

"When I sold the vehicle I had, I sold it within 24 hours," said Amanda Peters. She's part of the growing movement of consumers buying and selling used vehicles.

Not only was there a high demand for her vehicle - she said she had about 30 calls in that one day - but she also found a good deal on a used vehicle for herself.

"I got a pretty good deal on mine. It was low on miles still, only a year or two old. The price was right," she said. 

The owner of Glassman Automotive Group says there’s a reason for the uptick in vehicles that were previously owned.

"This new car inventory shortage, so a lot of people are considering preowned as an option," said George Glassman. 

The COVID-19 crisis caused a shortage in new car production and as many people continue to work from home, many off-lease vehicles are becoming more valuable. 

"An off-lease vehicle, where someone is, in many instances, able to turn their current lease in six months early, three months early because the mileage is so good that it will take care of whatever their buyout may be," Glassman said. "We’ve taken in several preowned vehicles, off-lease vehicles, with 11, 12 or 13,000 miles when typically those customers would near 36-40,000 miles at this time."

"The quality of the vehicle has typically been much better than in the past because of that mileage situation," he added. 

At Glassman, they’re working hard to meet the demand. 

"We’re literally buying as many off-lease vehicles as we can because prices have been very good," he said.

If you’re in the market for a new or used vehicle, leasing or buying - Peters has the following advice. 

"Not to be in a hurry. Sometimes when we have money and we need a vehicle and we're ready to move, but if you can do your research and take the time to visit places I think you'll do a whole lot better. Don't just take the first thing given to you."