Used Vehicle Market
Wholesale prices rose to a new monthly record above $16,000 in October and have continued to exceed that threshold well into November. The average price of a vehicle sold at physical auctions is now more than $5,000 higher than this same time in pre-pandemic 2019. In addition to tight used vehicle supply and lack of new vehicle inventory due to the chip shortage, wholesale used vehicle values have benefitted from strong demand from rental companies that lack availability of new vehicles to place into fleet service.
Retail used vehicle sales improved in October, but CPO sales softened, perhaps due to late-model used vehicle supply limitations. According to KAR Global Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of wholesale used vehicle prices by vehicle model class, wholesale prices in October averaged $16,318, up 5.0% compared to September, up 30.4% relative to October 2020, and up 46.5% compared to pre-COVID/October 2019. Prices rose for all model classes except compact pickups, which had a modest decline from high levels.
Based on NADA data, retail used vehicle sales by franchised and independent dealers in October were up 3.5% month-over-month and up 0.5% year-over-year. Year-to-date through October, sales are up 9.6% versus 2020 and up 1.5% compared to 2019/pre-pandemic levels.
October CPO sales were down 4.9% from the prior month and down 7.2% versus last year, according to figures from Autodata. On a year-to-date basis through October, CPO sales are up 8.5% compared to last year and up 1.8% versus 2019.