It was March momentum for the retail used-car market.

In a month were days-to-sell plummeted (more on that later), franchised and independent dealers combined to sell an estimated 1.66 million used vehicles, which was a 10.9% gain from March 2023 and up 18.5% from February, according to Cox Automotive.

Through three months of 2024, dealers have sold approximately 4.38 million used vehicles, compared to 4.29 million the same period of 2023, Cox data shows.

The company bases its sales estimates on Live Market View data from its vAuto business unit.

“As we move into spring, sales for used vehicles typically rise and we saw that trend continue this year with strong demand,” Cox Automotive senior director of economic and industry insights Jeremy Robb said in the report.

“Sales for used vehicles picked up in February, continuing to increase for eight weeks in a row before peaking towards the latter half of March. Affordability matters more than ever to consumers, and declines in used-vehicle prices help offset higher interest rates,” Robb said. “Once tax return season got underway, many consumers had more income to use as a down payment, driving customers into retail dealerships.”

The year began with used-car sales by dealers falling 6.4% year-over-year and climbing 1.3% month-over-month in January, according to the Cox data.

In February, used sales were up 4.1% year-over-year and improved 7.4% from January.

Certified pre-owned sales have also been strong to start the year. According to data that Cox reviewed, there was an estimated 231,927 CPO sales in March. That beats February figures by 10.1% and is up 1.1% year-over-year.  Year-to-date CPO sales are also up 1.1%, Cox said.

And it’s not just that used cars are selling — they’re also selling fast.

According to, 1- to 5-year-old used vehicles spent an average of just 34.2 days on the market in March. That’s down from 49.8 days in February and 64.8 days in January.

Hybrids are selling particularly fast (30.4 days on market) when compared to the overall market and electric vehicles (36.4 days on market).

“While used cars and used EVs track closely in sales pace, hybrids again hold an advantage,” iSeeCars executive analyst Karl Brauer said in an analysis. “Their lower fuel costs and lack of range anxiety make hybrids a desirable option for consumers looking to reduce post-purchase operating costs without altering their driving habits.”