The spring car buying season is off to a strong start. Many of the largest U.S. automakers saw a surge in new car sales in April.
John Brown with the Carolinas Independent Automobile Dealers Association said, "It is good news because eventually, those new cars become used cars."
Brown said for the first time since the economy took a dive, things are finally looking up for used car dealers and buyers.
"First of all, the economy went sour, then we had the Cash for Clunkers issue that took about a million units out of the used car inventory," he said.
Now that more people are buying new cars, Brown said more leases and trade-ins are now shifting into the used car inventory. This means more options and better prices for car shoppers. According to the Manheim Used Car Value Index, used car prices are 4.6 percent lower than one year ago.
John Gerst with Crown Automotive said customers are taking notice.
"Now things are picking up as people go back to work," Gerst said. "You have that good job again making income, and people want to get a car."
Gerst also said credit markets have opened back up. Loans are more readily available and dealers have more opportunities to finance, as well.
"Everybody's celebrating," Gerst said. "The economy is coming back and used car stores and new car stores both want to take advantage of that and put out some good deals and try to attract customers to our lots.”
CARFAX estimates 22 million used cars will be sold nationwide between May and September.