It's a similar situation at Great Lakes Auto Network in Ohio. President Joey Huang said the group would typically stock about 1,000 used vehicles across its five stores, but it currently has about 750.
Like DeNooyer Automotive, his group is working harder on its lease returns and is going back further in its customer database.
"Where before you're probably working your database six months, maybe eight months out from lease termination, we're working all the way back to 24 months," Huang said.
Huang said the group also is now carrying more vehicles with 100,000-plus miles than it ever did before.
Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said he has seen "tremendous growth" in street purchases and instant cash offers.
Through June 6, Kelley Blue Book cash offers were up 41 percent over the same period in 2020.
At the same time, some growth in fixed operations is giving dealers an opportunity to go after vehicles in service lanes, Smoke said. And there has been "an enormous shift" in dealers purchasing off-lease vehicles when they're turned in.
"And that's giving them options to retail, but also to take advantage of what's happened with pricing because we've had about five weeks in a row where the average wholesale price was actually higher than the average retail price," Smoke said.
The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index was up 48 percent year over year in May, hitting a record level. Total used-vehicle sales were up 3 percent in the same period.
According to Manheim, used retail supply was at 38 days at the end of May; the typical supply is 44 days. Wholesale supply stood at 19 days at the end of last month; the normal level is 23 days.
Used vehicles have been spending fewer days on the market, according to CarGurus' Vehicle Availability Index. A vehicle spent 55 days on the market in May, down 8 percent from the month before. Vehicles moved faster even as CarGurus saw a 4.3 percent increase in overall used inventory from May 2020.
"Used average days on market continues to decline even with that slight improvement in inventory levels, which really shows that strength in demand for used vehicles currently," said Kevin Roberts, CarGurus' director of industry insights and analytics.