Used vehicle prices continue to drop in September

Article by Christian A., on October 10, 2011

Last month, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index was still sliding but according to Manheim auction firm’s chief economist Tom Webb, it will “ease” downward in the near term. He explained that used vehicle prices will drop and that it’s likely that the index will fall to about 120 in the fourth quarter of 2011.

However, he doesn’t believe that it will decline to as low as 115. In a recent quarterly conference call, Webb told analysts and journalists that prices will stay “high’ by historical standards. In September 2011, the monthly index was 122.9.

In September 2010, the reading was 118.9, says Autonews. In August 2011, the index was 123.7. After peaking at 127.8 in May, the index has been steadily falling. In January 1995, Manheim’s index started at 100. It gets adjusted depending on vehicle mileage, model mix and time of year. It should also be mentioned that ADESA Auctions posted average used vehicle prices of $9,742 in September.

This is a 1.4% decrease from August and a 1.0% drop from September 2010. ADESA’s calculations now indicate that big SUVs have an average price of $12,584 in September, higher by 2.5% compared to August but a 10.2% drop from September 2010.

According to Tom Kontos, ADESA’s vice president of customer strategies and analytics, the prices of the large SUV have fallen considerably compared to last year since their prices were affected earlier this year when the prices of gasoline neared $4 per gallon. Kontos said that the prices are now higher but they haven’t reached the point wherein they’re break-even with 2010 prices.

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