Used-vehicle buyers replacing rides lost in hurricanes Harvey and Irma are boosting prices and trimming inventories, but the end of the storm surge is in sight.
October has been a big month for used-vehicle sales, but industry watchers expect the post-disaster replacement surge to play out by the end of November. Virtually all of the lift has come from Harvey and Irma, with hardly a ripple caused by Hurricane Nate and California wildfires.
Still, it has been strong enough to temporarily lift used-vehicle prices by reducing abundant stocks.
"Used-vehicle prices are reflecting a surge in demand and a tightening of supply," Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said. "It's continuing in October but starting to slow down."