Parents and teenagers looking to tap the used car market before heading back to school won't be alone this year. Recent reports estimate used vehicle sales up four percent from last year, while new car sales are experiencing a five percent decrease.

The Autobytel Online Survey conducted in June/July 2001 on Autobytel.com's website found that demand in the used car market should continue as parents and teens begin to consider buying a vehicle for the new school year. The survey found that over 70 percent of both teens and parents are looking for used cars when it comes to a teen's first car purchase.

While sticker price is the top reason both parents (42%) and teenagers (58%) chose to shop for a used car, it isn't necessarily the top concern when selecting the specific vehicle that qualifies as the teen's first car. Safety tops parents' list with 47 percent ranking it as their highest concern, followed by cost at 22 percent and vehicle condition at 10 percent. For teenagers, cost remains the top priority at 43 percent, followed by the vehicle's color and appearance at 23 percent, and safety ranking third at 20 percent. The survey reports nearly 80 percent of both teens and parents plan to spend less than $10,000.

According to another survey earlier this year conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation for Autobytel.com, 39 percent of American adults feel the current state of the economy would influence them to purchase a used vehicle rather than buying or leasing a new vehicle, while 70 percent of adults surveyed agreed that purchasing online could enable them to buy a better vehicle for less money.

In the Opinion Research study, over half (52%) of the respondents indicated that the first source they would trust for objective information to help them obtain the best price is a website (such as Autobytel.com) that offers comparisons on multiple brands and features.

"We have definitely been able to see the demand for used cars increasing this year," said Andrew Donchak, Autobytel.com's Chief Marketing Officer. "Our used car CyberStore has received a record number of purchase requests every month since March."

Autobytel.com's most frequently requested used vehicles this summer are:

  1. Honda Accord
  2. Honda Civic
  3. Ford Mustang
  4. Mitsubishi Eclipse
  5. Toyota Camry
  6. Ford Explorer
  7. Volkswagen Jetta
  8. Nissan Maxima
  9. Jeep Grand Cherokee
  10. Jeep Wrangler