Welcome to spring 2022, an upside-down world where new- vehicle dealers are so desperate for used-car inventory they are taking trade-in vehicles with mileages deep into the six figures and sending them to the front line.
A scan of used-car inventories from Florida to California shows many new-car dealers are offering vehicles with mileages of 175,000 or more.
At Sun State Ford in Orlando, a 2006 Toyota Tacoma with 204,000 miles barely made it out of the service department before it was sold, says Anthony Silvio, the store's used-car director. Another recent sale: a 2013 Toyota Prius with 180,000 miles.
"Before the pandemic and the shortage of cars happened, anything over 150,000 miles we really didn't touch. But the way the market is made us stretch a little more," Silvio says.
Those super-high-mileage vehicles, he says, went directly to auction before the pandemic and new-car shortages drove up prices of used vehicles. From the auction, they'd likely land on a buy-here, pay-here lot.
But dealers have found that extra checks in the service department on well-maintained, high-mileage vehicles, along with more extensive reconditioning work, can make a high-mileage vehicle not only viable, but profitable.