Prices keep rising as volume slips again in used market

Falling volumes led to another price increase in the same dealer sales retail used truck space in January, ACT Research announced Tuesday.

The company says its preliminary used Class 8 retail volumes shrank 8 percent month over month and were down 32 percent year over year. Comparatively, price was up 9 percent. Average miles and age were fairly steady, up 1 percent and down 1 percent month over month, respectively.

Compared to January of 2021, ACT Research says average retail used truck pricing is up 82 percent — average miles and age are up 6 percent.

"As is historically the case, preliminary same dealer retail sales nosedived in January, but not nearly as much as the expected 45 percent or so drop," says Steve Tam, ACT Research vice president "For various reasons, truck buyers are generally not in the market in the dead of winter, but clearly, used trucks are still in demand today."

[RELATED: How stratospheric prices are altering the retail used truck market]

Tam says at issue right now is the simple lack of inventory from which truckers can purchase.

"Despite the robust new truck build and sales figures that closed 2021, the used truck market is operating with less inventory than it has at almost any time in recent memory and perhaps ever," he says. "The combination of through-the-roof demand and severely limited inventory has driven prices to never-before-seen levels, and we are increasingly hearing stories of fleets with unseated, late model equipment opportunistically taking advantage of current market dynamics. Those with excess capacity are selling to frustrated, traditionally new truck buyers, who are having difficulty acquiring the units they need."

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