After tumbling to recession-era levels during the early months of the pandemic, the auto market roared back with a vengeance early this year. Dealers are struggling to find product to sell, fueling surging prices all around. With few new cars on showroom lots, motorists have been snapping up whatever used cars they can find.
Josh Frankel, a New York-based financial consultant, found that his leased 2018 Jeep Compass was worth $18,000 on the used car market — nearly $3,000 more than the buyout value in his lease contract. So rather than turn the SUV back in, Frankel struck a deal to sell it to a used car wholesaler.
“It couldn’t have been easier,” he said by phone. “I didn’t have to lay out a penny. He came to