Infographic: How used car sales overshadow new car sales

The Car Connection

There are more than 250 million used cars on the road in the United States and every year, close to 40 million of those used cars change hands. Used-car sales volumes typically dwarf new-car sales. But how does the fleet of used cars for sale look in different parts of the country? We analyzed our database of more than 3 million current classifieds from different providers plus outside data sources to create this snapshot--the United States of Used Cars.

New versus used: While the new-car market is averaging about 14 million units over the past five years (and is on pace for 16 million sales this year, based on recent volumes), the used-car market towers above it, with roughly 40 million cars sold each year. Of those, many are sold by private parties, but a sizable percentage are sold through some of the 45,000 independent used-car dealerships--or sold as certified pre-owned vehicles through the nearly 18,000 new-car dealers in the U.S.

Used-car prices: In our snapshot, the average list price of a used car is $19,741.44. By state, you may find better bargains in Michigan, where the average price is lowest, at $16,489.

Where you'll find the oldest--and newest--used cars: The average car on America's roads today is more than 11 years old. When it comes time to buy a used car, that becomes an important fact, since used-car ages and prices are at a high. You'll find the oldest used cars in the District of Columbia, where the average used car is 8 years old; the youngest used cars come from West Virginia and Arkansas, at 3.9 years old.

Average mileage, by state: In some states, long commuting and traveling distances mean a lot of miles racked up quickly. The states with the highest average miles on used cars are in the west: South Dakota tops the list, at nearly 80,000 miles average for all used cars on sale. The lowest-mileage cars? They're found in Alaska, which has few roads to connect its major cities, and a state capital best reached by air or by boat.

Related video: Choices for best and worst used cars

Most popular brands: The nameplates you'll see on used cars most often are no mystery. The best-selling vehicle in America for the past 33 years, the Ford F-150, is also the best-selling used vehicle in 22 states. Chevrolet is the best seller in 19 states with two different models, while the Honda Accord tops the used-car sales charts in seven states.

[Related slideshow: Top used cars across the 50 states]

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