Used-Pickup Prices Climb

Jul 20, 2013

Used cars and light trucks continued to be in high demand through the first six months of the year, which resulted in prices that outperformed typical seasonal declines, especially for full-sized pickups and sport utility vehicles, according to the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA).

Prices for used full-sized pickups were up 7.7 percent through June, and little change is expected for July.

“June closed out the first half of the year with average auction prices of used vehicles up to 8 years in age nearly equal to last year’s level,” said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide. “Given the stability observed in used-vehicle prices year-to-date, we expect to close out the year with prices essentially unchanged from the historically high average of $15,664 in 2012.”

The average wholesale price of used vehicles up to eight-years-old was $15,892 through the first half of 2013, a figure nearly $600 higher compared to the same six-month period in 2011, according to the NADA.

“Overall used-vehicle prices at a market level have changed little through the first six months of 2013, but there were more distinct shifts at the segment level,” Banks added.

Compared to mid-year figures in June 2012, luxury car and utility vehicle prices were 1.8 percent lower from January to June 2013. Prices of compact utilities dropped 1.5 percent; prices of mid-sized cars dropped 1.2 percent; and prices for compact cars slipped 0.7 percent.

A 7.7 percent rise in full-sized pickup and SUVs prices, as well as price increases of 1.4 percent for mid-sized utility vehicles and 2.3% for vans helped offset losses, according to the NADA.

“Seasonal effects aside, consumers should expect trade-in prices to remain high through at least the end of the year, especially for full-size pickups and SUVs because of lower supply and increased demand from a recovery in construction,” Banks said.