Despite slipping volumes, used truck pricing held up well in September

Trucks driving on highway

Same dealer retail sales of used Class 8 trucks saw a 9 percent drop in volume in September, ACT Research reported this week in its  State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks report.

The company says that preliminary total was 29 percent lower than September 2022. Price was down 3 percent month over month, while average miles was up 2 percent and age contracted by 4 percent. Comparing to September 2021, ACT Research says price was up 18 percent while age and mileage rose by 3 and 1 percent, respectively.

“Retail unit sales reflect the challenges of both waning demand, as well as the curtailed flow of units coming from trade-ins. Encoded in the supply-demand dynamics, the impact of pricing is to the downside,” says Steve Tam, vice president, ACT Research. “Of course, final interpretation depends on one’s role as a buyer or a seller. Miles and age appear to be holding less sway over pricing, but are also arguably mixed. Looking ahead, prices are likely to continue on their downward trek into the first half of 2023, before starting to head higher, predicated on underlying economic and freight assumptions.”

ACT's report corroborates this week's announcement from J.D. Power that the used truck pricing free fall may be slowing. 

Additionally, Tam says new truck production could offer a boost for the used truck sector in the months ahead.

“If history is any indication, September new truck build, which totaled nearly 26,000 units, will translate into a meaningful uptick in the market in November or December once those units have worked their way through repair and reconditioning,” he says. “Of course, this assumes there are customers lined up with dollars (or financing) in hand to put those units to work. Given supply has been a bigger issue than demand, that is probably a safe assumption.”

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