Used vehicle sales set to hit all-time high in 2016

Used car sales to hit record high this year
Used car sales to hit record high this year

Used cars and trucks are getting new love as 2016 is on track for a record number of preowned vehicle sales.

For the year, almost 41 million used vehicles are expected to be bought in the U.S., according to Cox Automotive.

"This is almost certainly a record year," said Tom Webb, chief economist at Cox Automotive. "And the number of sales will likely go higher in the future because there is a large number of vehicles coming off lease over the next couple of years."

The growth in used vehicle sales comes as new data from Experian shows a surge in used vehicle loans being written to those with the best credit scores.

More than 57 percent of the vehicle loans at franchised used vehicle dealerships in the third quarter of 2016 were written to those with either prime or super prime credit scores, an increase of more than 2 percent compared with the same time last year, according to Experian.

The firm, which tracks automotive loans, also reports the average amount borrowed for a used vehicle loan hit a record high in the third quarter of $19,227.

As more people buy used vehicles, some of the largest auto dealership chains are expanding in the preowned vehicles market. Last week, Penske Auto Group, the country's second-largest auto retailer, said it was buying CarSense, a dealership chain in Pennsylvania and New Jersey that sells only used vehicles.

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