Black Book has tracked the most in-demand used car and truck segments this spring season based on wholesale pricing and auction activity. Here is the latest insight from Black Book Editorial Director, Ricky Beggs:

Used Car Segments

For seven of the past eight weeks there are three car segments that have consistently increased in retention activity. These were also the strongest segments during this time of the year for the past two years. These three segments, the Entry-Level Cars, the Entry Mid-sized Cars, and the Upper Mid-size Cars, at an average segment price ranging from $6,141 to $8,721, are well below the overall car segment average price of $14,316, which currently includes vehicles from three to eight years old. To confirm the strength in the market when comparing this year to a year ago, the then three-to eight-year-old cars averaged slightly less at $14,001. The most positive adjusting segments, mentioned earlier, are well under the average car segment value. If anything, this is a prime target of tax refund shoppers looking for used vehicles under $10,000.

Used Truck Segments

Within the truck segments, a couple of the lower average priced segments, the Cargo and Passenger Minivans at $4,977 and $7,667, are also tracking at the better week-over-week retention levels behind the three pickup segments (compact, mid-size and full-size). The remaining twelve truck segments all are at five-digit-level pricing, with the overall average truck segment currently priced at $13,182.

This past week with ten of the fourteen truck segments increasing week-over-week, the trucks finished with an overall positive retention change. With the better retention segments within the cars and the trucks being the lower priced segments confirms our thoughts that the tax season cars fit into a price level that most every consumer can afford even though they might not actually be an entry-level price buyer.