Used truck prices remain at record highs

Jason Cannon

March 11, 2014

Increased numbers of newer used trucks continue to enter the market, providing buyers with better access to the low-mileage trucks, according to the newest NADA Commercial Truck Guide Industry Report.

January prices for used sleeper set yet another record, climbing to $56,488 – the highest figure recorded since NADA current data analysis processes were introduced in mid-2007 and about one-third the MSRP of a new truck.

Average mileage was just more than half a million miles, and age – 77 months – was identical to December. Month-over-month, NADA says January was $2,292 (4.1 percent) higher on price and 7,284 (1.4 percent) lower on mileage. Year-over-year, January 2014 was $7,770 (13.8 percent) higher than January 2013 on price, and 21,840 (4.0 percent) lower on mileage.  

The bulk of the retail sleeper market is made up of model years 2007-2011 and 2007 models remain popular as the last of the pre-DPF trucks. Units with attractive mileage will continue to hold their value for as long as they remain available, NADA says.

Model year 2011 trucks are the major factor in the retail market at present, NADA says, outselling other model years for the second month in a row. With average mileage for 2011’s just below 400,000, demand far outpaces supply.

As for the newest trucks, 2012’s continue to enter the market in greater numbers and are selling for more than their 2011 counterparts did this time last year, NADA says.

“We see little change in these trends over the next two quarters. 2012’s could place very mild downward pricing pressure on late-model trucks as they enter the market in greater numbers, but it is also possible demand will remain strong enough to absorb this supply with no impact to pricing. The bottom line is dealers can be confident in the value of their late-model inventory in the upcoming months,” the report states.

Near-record winters across the U.S. had a negative impact on the wholesale/auction segment as buyers only braved the cold for the best deals they could find.

The average sleeper tractor sold wholesale in January was 72 months old, had 623,844 miles, and brought $38,549. That is nearly a full year newer than December and more than two years newer than January 2013.

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