NADA: Used-Vehicle Prices for 2013 Peaked in March

Published April 16, 2013

McLEAN, Va. (April 16, 2013) - Wholesale prices for used cars and light trucks reached their annual peak in March, says the NADA Used Guide in its April edition of Guidelines.

Prices for used vehicles up to 8-years-old increased by 1.2% in March, substantially less than the 3% increase recorded for the month last year.

"Wholesale prices for used vehicles increased in February and March, but the price growth has been mild compared to what is typically seen for the period," said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide.

The first quarter's slower rate of growth was caused by a combination of factors, which included higher payroll taxes, delayed tax refunds and the spike in demand from Hurricane Sandy at the end of 2012.

Despite March's weaker than normal performance, the first quarter 2013 ended with used-vehicle prices 0.9% higher compared to the same three months a year ago.

Compact car prices increased 2.2% in March, which was the highest of any segment for the month. Prices for mid-size cars and vans increased by 1.3%, respectively.

"Gasoline prices, which grew by nearly 50 cents from December to late February, likely led to increased used-vehicle prices in the compact car segment compared to other segments," Banks added. "For large pickup trucks, the improved housing market has resulted in used prices growing by 1% despite the increasing supply of late-model used pickups."

For April, NADA predicts that used-vehicle prices will fall by 2 to 2.5% with depreciation accelerating towards the end of the month and continuing through May. 

Click here for the April edition of Guidelines .

About the NADA Used Car Guide

Over an 80-year history, the NADA Used Car Guide has earned its reputation as the leading provider of accurate vehicle valuations and auction data. NADA offers a wide range of vehicle values, including those for used passenger car, light-duty and commercial truck, motorcycle, classic car and many more specialty vehicles. Available in a variety of delivery methods, NADA's products and services are used daily throughout the auto, finance, fleet-lease, government and insurance industries. For more information, visit

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