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NADA: Sweet Spot for Used Trucks is 4 Years Old and 400,000 Miles

September 29, 2016 By: Trucking News Staff Tags: Fleet Management, News, Owner Operators
NADA: Sweet Spot for Used Trucks is 4 Years Old and 400,000 Miles

In its latest Commercial Truck Guidelines report, used commercial truck analysts at NADA Used Car Guide claim the late summer months brought with them a slowdown in sales and prices in the wholesale and retail markets. Analysts forecast about 3 percent depreciation per month until the end of the year.

According to the free monthly report, August’s auction market saw volume of sold sleeper tractors down notably from July. Prices were moderately lower, with 3- to 5-year-old sleepers averaging an 8.5 percent decline versus July. Year-to-date, this group has lost an average of 2 percent per month, which is substantially better than the 5 percent per month depreciation of the fourth quarter of 2015. Prices have run roughly 30 percent lower year-over-year.

When the total wholesale activity is reviewed, which includes dealer-to-dealer sales, 3- to 5-year-old sleepers had a stronger performance in August. Average prices were less than 1 percent lower than July.

Chris Visser, senior commercial truck analyst at NADA Used Car Guide said, “The sweet spot in the wholesale market continues to be a 4-year-old truck with about 400,000 miles.”

Within the retail market, commercial truck analysts found depreciation relaxed in July after it declined from May to June. Three- to five-year-old sleepers lost less than 1 percent of their value from June to July and have averaged about 2 percent depreciation per month since January. Compared to last year, truck prices sold this year have seen a 15 percent dip in price.

The used commercial truck market generally took a break from depreciation in July and August. The freight environment remains moderately negative, but the domestic economy — in general — continues to show incremental upward growth. NADA said it doesn’t expect a notable change in conditions through the end of the year, so the safe bet is to expect roughly 3 percent depreciation per month going forward.