Whether it's new or used, millions of people across the U.S. are starting out the new year driving a recently purchased car.
Keeping their lots full and enough staff at the office were actually two of the problems car dealers in Amarillo were fighting toward the end of the month in December. Because despite the nation's fears of speeding off that fiscal cliff, car sales in Amarillo did anything but slow down.
As the numbers keep coming in, car dealers nationwide and in town continue to have more reasons to celebrate.
"December we were up 80 percent over 2011 so quite a big increase as far as year over year sales," said Dean Sather, Owner of CrossPoint Auto in Amarillo.
"New car business is up about 24 percent year over year and used car business is up about 44 percent," added Cory Dupriest, the Senior Sales Manager for Street Toyota in Amarillo.
Among the many reasons for the spike, are people like Roy Martin and their older vehicles.
"I've had my Mustang for about five years and the Honda we've had for about ten or eleven," said Martin. "So it's time for a new one."
The average life of a car in the U.S. right now is eleven years. Local dealers say over time, that buildup creates a demand and now people are finally trading them in.
"The amount of people in the market is definitely going to increase," said Sather. "But we all knew that was going to happen because the age of the cars and the age of the vehicles on the road and the miles has definitely been increasing since 2008."
With more of those older cars being traded in, dealers say they've got a much larger supply than they've had in years.
"The supply of used cars we have right now, obviously with the new car business being up across the board, it generates some really good trade ins," said Dupriest. "And customers are always looking for great deals."
It's good news all around for potential buyers, car dealerships, and the U.S. economy as a whole.
"It seems like a good way to judge the economy," continued Dupriest. "When car sales are up, the economy is usually very strong."
Recent reports show Americans bought about 15.6 million cars this year and industry experts predict they'll buy another 15 million in 2013.