Mar 2021

Used Vehicle Market Conditions

Wholesale used vehicle prices started the year strong, with January average values up significantly over December and by double-digits in percentage terms over pre-COVID levels. These trends continued into February. According to KAR Global Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of wholesale used vehicle prices by vehicle model class, wholesale prices in January averaged $12,551, up 5.6% compared to December, up 16.6% compared to pre-COVID/January 2019 and up 13.1% relative to January 2020.

Prices rose on a month-over-month basis for all model classes. When holding constant for sale type, model-year-age, mileage, and model class segment — using criteria that characterize off-lease units — prices were up about seven percent on a year-over-year basis for both midsize cars and midsize SUV/CUVs in January. Average prices have been well above year-ago levels each week since the start of the year, regardless of vehicle type. CUV/SUV prices appear to be up less dramatically than the rest of the major segments perhaps due to their relative abundance from strong new sales of these vehicles in recent years. CPO sales were down 13.0% from the prior month and down 7.4% year-over-year in January, according to figures from Autodata (Tom Kontos).

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