Recent Polk analysis of commercial vehicle registrations during the first quarter of the 2013 calendar year identified 171,724 used commercial vehicle registrations, an increase of 4.7 percent when compared to used registrations during the first quarter, 2012. With the exception of first quarter 2011, used registrations in the first quarter of the 2013 calendar year are the highest since 2005. During this same period, new commercial vehicle registrations were down 4.4 percent.

"This is a significant development for the market, in that while new registrations are soft, when compared to the same quarter in the previous calendar year or with the level of new registrations during the last quarter of 2012, there is still solid demand for used commercial vehicle equipment," said Gary Meteer, director, aftermarket and commercial vehicle solutions at Polk. "Since smaller businesses and individual owners are the primary purchasers of used equipment, the strong demand is an indication that these companies are positive and confident about their business, and therefore replacing older equipment or adding vehicles to their fleet."

Used commercial vehicle transactions during the first quarter of 2013, when compared to the first quarter of 2012, were strong in each GVW category, as follows: 

VIN-Defined Gross Vehicle Weight Q1 2013 Used Transactions Percentage Change from Q1 2012 Q1 2013 Share of Used Commercial Vehicles (%)
GVW 3 52,153 6.5 30.4
GVW 4 15,306 4.0 8.9
GVW 5 8,841 10.5 5.1
GVW 6 14,657 4.6 8.5
GVW 7 13,489 3.9 7.9
GVW 8 67,278 3.0 39.2
INDUSTRY TOTAL 171,724 4.7 100.0

Used commercial vehicle transactions accounted for about 57.1 percent of total registrations during the first quarter, 2013. The share of total commercial vehicle registrations accounted for by used transactions continues to decline from a high of 70 percent in the first quarter of the 2011 calendar year. A historical quarterly view is as follows:

  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
QTR 1 45 48 58 66 70 56 57
QTR 2 43 47 66 68 69 56  
QTR 3 50 49 67 64 60 54  
QTR 4 47 49 61 60 54 55  

Polk's most recent Commercial Quarterly Commercial Report is available for download and includes additional detail and insight into the used and new commercial vehicle market activity for the first quarter.

Polk has been providing commercial vehicle data to the industry for decades and first began reporting used and new registration information in 2004. Polk's solutions for the commercial market also include the ability to pinpoint business owners who have purchased used equipment and are therefore good prospects for future purchases. Solid name lists based on ownership profiling is one of the many services Polk provides to customers who are looking to expand their new and used vehicle business.