Used Vehicle Market
Average wholesale prices have held fairly steady at the start of 2022, though they have softened modestly from peak levels achieved in early November 2021 and to date have not shown their typical Spring/Tax Season uptick. A key difference in current market conditions versus those in place during the November price peak is that rental companies have started to receive a greater allocation of new vehicles, which has diminished their need to purchase late-model used vehicles as a substitute.
Retail used vehicle sales and CPO sales have started the year down compared to 2021, 2020 and 2019, as consumers may be shying away from purchasing used vehicles at such historically high prices.
According to KAR Global Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of wholesale used vehicle prices by vehicle model class, wholesale prices in January averaged $16,363 – up 2.1% compared to December, up 30.4% relative to January 2021, and up 52.1% versus pre-pandemic/January 2019.
Wholesale prices in February averaged $16,236 — down 0.8% compared to January, up 22.6% relative to February 2021, and up 50.7% versus pre-pandemic/February 2019.
Based on NADA data, retail used vehicle sales by franchised and independent dealers year-to-date through February were down 1.6% versus 2021, down 8.3% versus 2020 and down 3.9% compared to 2019.
On a year-to-date basis through February, CPO sales were down 12.9% versus 2021, down 21.5% versus 2020 and down 12.9% compared to 2019, using figures from Motor Intelligence.