Late-model depreciation gently slowing for used trucks

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Updated Jan 19, 2024
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Late-model truck depreciation is slowing but values continue to fall in the used truck space, J.D. Power reported Monday in its November 2023 Commercial Truck Guidelines report.

In the auction market, pricing in J.D. Power's benchmark model was as follows: 

  • Model year (MY) 2021: $61,025; $3,531 (5.5%) lower than September
  • MY 2020: $52,473; $1,192 (2.3%) higher than September
  • MY 2019: $31,565; $5,145 (14.0%) lower than September
  • MY 2018: $26,189; $1,346 (4.9%) lower than September
  • MY 2017: $15,861; $4,182 (20.9%) lower than September 

J.D. Power reports trucks newer than five years of age depreciated less than last month, but on average the late-model segment continued to lose value in October. The company says 4- to 6-year-old trucks brought 4.6% less money than in September, and 37.5% less money than October 2022.

November 2023 JD Power Auction pricesAverage auction selling price for 3- to 6-year-old sleeper tractors, adjusted for mileage.

In the first 10 months of 2023, late-model sleepers brought 41.7% less money than the same period of 2022. Monthly depreciation in 2023 is averaging 4.4%. J.D. Power adds "values for the newest model years available in the marketplace are just under the strong pre-pandemic period of 2018 in nominal figures, or just more than 20% less if adjusted for inflation."

[RELATED: Used truck depreciation slowing but price unlikely to turn until 2024]

In the retail sector, equipment 4-year-old and older took large losses and hurt the overall industry average last month.

In October, the average sleeper tractor retailed was 71 months old, had 437,227 miles and brought $67,441. Compared with September 2023, J.D. Power says this average sleeper was four months older, had 20,547 (4.9%) more miles and brought $4,240 (5.9%) less money. Compared with September 2022, this average sleeper was one month older, had 27,122 (5.8%) fewer miles and brought $28,138 (29.4%) less money, the company adds.

November 2023 JD Power Retail pricesAverage retail selling price for 3- to 5-year-old sleeper tractors, adjusted for mileage.

The company says October’s average pricing for 2- to 6-year-old trucks was as follows:

  • MY 2022: $118,033; $262 (0.2%) higher than September
  • MY 2021: $91,166; $3,200 (3.4%) lower than September
  • MY 2020: $71,732; $2,193 (3.2) higher than September
  • MY 2019: $55,474; $1,167 (2.1%) lower than September
  • MY 2018: $42,057; $6,413 lower than September 

[RELATED: ACT Research says used truck pricing trough won't last forever]

"Drilling down to individual makes and models, retail selling prices for newer trucks were essentially flat month over month," J.D. Power reports. "Older trucks — and those with high mileage for their age — depreciated more notably. One month is not a trend, but any relaxation of depreciation would logically show up first in newer trucks, so cautious optimism is not out of the question."

J.D. Power says 3- to 5-year-old trucks brought an average of 1.0% less money than September, and 29.3% less than October 2022. The first 10 months of 2023 averaged 31.3% less money than the same period of 2022. The company says monthly depreciation in 2023 is currently averaging 3.1%. Late-model sleepers remain roughly at parity with the last strong pre-pandemic period of 2018 in nominal dollars, or about 20% less when adjusted for inflation.  

The company also states a low volume of daycab sales skewed that segment’s averages somewhat this month, particularly for 4-year-old trucks. That said, daycabs continue to return better residuals than aerodynamic sleepers in 2023, bringing equal or better money after only 3-4 years of age. The company adds daycabs are averaging 3.5% per month depreciation in 2023 to date. As in the sleeper segment, a larger volume of lower-spec trucks is cycling through the market.  

On a volume basis, October’s retail sales per dealership remained subdued at 2.6 trucks per rooftop, 0.2 more than September. J.D. Power states potential buyers continue to contend with negative equity, high interest rates and tougher credit requirements. 

In looking ahead, J.D. Power states pre-holiday demand was subdued, but firmer prices for newer sleeper tractors provides a bit of optimism going into December.

"Pricing is still roughly 20% higher than the lowest month of 2019 (in real figures), which was the weakest point pre-pandemic. We’re still looking at the second quarter of 2024 for the post-pandemic correction to finish playing out, although we could be mostly there by February or March 2024," the company says.

For more information, and to read the entirety of this month’s report, please CLICK HERE.

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