Not long ago the auto world panicked over the exceptionally high price of used cars. A perfect storm of unfortunate events contributed to a shortage of pre-owned vehicles.
Back in 2007–2008, the U.S. economy took a nosedive. Soon after, American automakers filed for bankruptcy. Then, in early 2011, an earthquake and devastating tsunami in Japan halted production there. Potential car buyers everywhere put purchases on hold. Car leases were all but eliminated, which of course caused a serious shortage of lease returns, typically a major source of quality used cars.
With new car sales at a halt and people holding on to their existing cars for much longer, the prices of late-model used cars were through the roof. In fact, sometimes it was more expensive to buy used than to buy new.
Finally, some 5 years later, things are getting back to normal.