Manheim Used Vehicle Prices Reach Four-Year High

July 8, 2016
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Graphic of Manheim Used Vehicle Index courtesy of Manheim.
Graphic of Manheim Used Vehicle Index courtesy of Manheim.

Wholesale used vehicle prices increased for the third consecutive month in June, and are now at their highest level in more than four years, and off by only 1.3% from the record high reached in May 2011.

However, the long-term trend for wholesale pricing is down, according to Manheim’s Used Vehicle Value Index

Used vehicle sales also continued to rise. Total used retail unit volumes increased 4% in the first five months of 2016, with franchised dealers up 3% and independents up 6%, according to NADA. The gains are likely caused by higher wholesale supplies, according to Manheim's research.

Lower mileage and better mix drive rental risk prices: A straight average of auction prices for rental risk units sold in June jumped nearly 18% from a year ago.  The average mileage on rental risk units fell to 38,500 miles – the lowest since December 2013.  June’s mix of crossovers and vans was significantly higher, while the share of rental risk unit sales accounted for by midsize cars was down.  Rental units being sold at auction this June were also in better condition, according to the Manheim report.

Rental risk auction prices, adjusted for broad changes in mix and mileage (but not condition), were flat in June relative to a year ago.  They were up 2.2% from May, on significantly lower volume.

Pickup truck pricing continues strong: All of the strength in wholesale pricing remains concentrated in pickups, vans, and certain sports cars – the same segments that are enjoying the strongest increases in average new vehicle transaction price. Wholesale pricing for all other market classes is flat to down, according to Manheim.

Within price tiers, Manheim's analysis was mostly nondefinitive, and not correlated with volume shifts. There was some additional weakness in the lower-middle price tier ($7,000 to $8,000 at wholesale), which could suggest some negative shifts in the subprime financing environment, according to Manheim.

Unadjusted prices: Unadjusted prices continued to rise faster than the Manheim Index, as the sales composition shifts toward more lower-mileage units and a higher commercial consignment share.

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