September Used Car Prices 'Virtually Flat' Over August, ADESA Reports

According to the latest Kontos Kommentary from ADESA's Chief Economist Tom Kontos on used vehicle prices, average wholesale used vehicle prices in September were "virtually flat" compared to August and down on a year-over-year basis. The decrease, though, is considerably less than the last three months.

September was a good month for the retail new and used markets, as sales and prices were strong, driving demand in the auction lanes and online.

According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of wholesale used vehicle prices by vehicle model Class, wholesale used vehicle prices in September averaged $9,550 – up 0.3% compared to August and down 2.1% compared to September of last year. By comparison, the year-over-year average price drops during summer were in the 4% range, almost double September’s drop.

Segments with significantly higher prices in September versus August were Fullsize Cars, Fullsize Vans and Fullsize SUVs, though Luxury cars and Luxury SUVs also showed notable price growth. Our new Crossover segments showed modest price growth.

Prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers fell by 6.6% month-over-month in September, and were down 0.9% year-over-year, indicating downward price pressure on manufacturers’ vehicles as more off-rental vehicles began entering the market after Labor Day. Fleet/lease consignors experienced a modest 0.5% decrease in September, leaving prices down 0.4% year-over-year, according to the analysis.

September sales of certified used vehicles were down 3.4% month-over-month but up by 9.1% year-over-year based on data from Autodata.

Wholesale Used Vehicle
Price Trends

  Average Prices ($/Unit) Latest Month
Versus:
  Sep-12
Aug-12
Sep-11
  Prior 
Month
Prior 
Year
Total All Vehicles $9,550 $9,518 $9,750   0.3% -2.1%
             
Total Cars $8,680 $8,693 $8,867   -0.1% -2.1%
Compact Car $7,029 $7,185 $7,112   -2.2% -1.2%
Midsize Car $7,705 $7,720 $7,971   -0.2% -3.3%
Fullsize Car $7,911 $7,443 $7,520   6.3% 5.2%
Luxury Car $11,987 $11,967 $12,741   0.2% -5.9%
Sporty Car $12,208 $12,361 $12,354   -1.2% -1.2%
             
Total Trucks $9,475 $9,407 $9,812   0.7% -3.4%
Mini Van $6,661 $6,675 $6,979   -0.2% -4.6%
Fullsize Van $9,949 $9,751 $9,838   2.0% 1.1%
Mini SUV $10,869 $11,003 $10,554   -1.2% 3.0%
Midsize SUV $6,626 $6,673 $7,458   -0.7% -11.2%
Fullsize SUV $10,892 $10,432 $11,163   4.4% -2.4%
Luxury SUV $18,778 $18,562 $20,083   1.2% -6.5%
Compact Pickup $7,240 $7,422 $7,437   -2.5% -2.7%
Fullsize Pickup $11,203 $11,308 $11,352   -0.9% -1.3%
             
Total Crossovers $12,848 $12,796 $13,317   0.4% -3.5%
Compact CUV $10,847 $10,832 $11,010   0.1% -1.5%
Mid/Fullsize CUV $15,224 $15,211 $16,038   0.1% -5.1%

Source: ADESA Analytical Services

This Kontos Kommentary analysis is based on nearly six million annual sales transactions from more than 150 of the largest U.S. wholesale auto auctions, including those of ADESA as well as other auction companies. ADESA Analytical Services segregates these transactions to study trends by vehicle model class. 

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