Medium-duty used truck market flat; cabover prices slip

The medium-duty used truck market remains stable, meaning neither buyers nor sellers hold a significantly better hand, according to NADA’s November Commercial Truck Guidelines, published this week.

©2013 NADA Used Car Guide©2013 NADA Used Car Guide

The market environment for both cabovers and conventionals is “flat to downwards,” the report says.

The average price for Class 4 conventionals was down slightly, at $165 lower month-over-month, and $1,386 (or 9.8 percent) lower year-over-year.

The average mileage came in at 108,265 in September – down 12,315 (or 10.2 percent) month-over-month, and 15,926 (or 14.7 percent) higher year-over-year.

Trucks at this mileage level have been decreasing in value since the first quarter, notes the report by Chris Visser, NADA commercial vehicle sales analyst.

In a similarly flat market, Class 6 conventional-model sales were up slightly, at $14,507 – $428 higher month-over-month, and $1,793 (or 12.4 percent) higher year-over-year. Mileage was 177,094 in September; that’s 20,892 (or 10.6 percent) lower than August, and 1,819 (or 1 percent) lower than September a year ago.

Cabovers continue to depreciate on a mileage-adjusted basis, coming in at $10,918 in September on mileage of 125,428. This pricing was $896 (or 8.2 percent) higher month-over-month, but a whopping $7,171 (or 39.6 percent) lower compared to a very unusually strong September 2012.

That month was an anomaly, marked by a small volume of trucks with much lower-than-average mileage, according to the report.

“In general, it is best to consider the market for over-100,000 mile cabovers saturated,” Visser says.

Chris VisserChris Visser

He points out that the medium-duty market depends less on the price of a new truck than the Class 8 market does. And the medium duty market also is impacted by large-scale turn-ins by fleets and rental companies, ensuring an ample supply.

“With new medium duty trucks reasonably priced compared to their Class 8 counterparts, there is less demand for low-mileage used trucks as a substitute for new,” Visser says. 

More active, the market for Class 8 construction equipment has seen multi-month upward movement in five-year-old and newer trucks.

“The construction market should continue to recover at a gradual pace, with the upcoming winter months limiting upward movement in the short term,” Visser says. “Over the next few quarters, the minimal numbers of these trucks built new during the recession should provide upward pressure on pricing.”