J.D. Power: Auction prices take unexpected slide; retail stays course

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Updated Mar 21, 2024
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Auction prices took an unexpected slide for February but volume and retail prices were both stable, J.D. Power reported Monday in its March 2024 Commercial Truck Guidelines report.

Prices for five-year-old late-model sleepers also dropped noticeably, the auction firm says, and it's got an eye on March for more volatility. 

Average pricing for the benchmark late-model sleeper tractor in February was: 

  • 2022: $82,500 (no comparison with January). 
  • 2021: $54,477; $4,698 or 7.9% lower than January
  • 2020: $37,064; $12,961 or 25.9% lower than January. 
  • 2019: $31,117; $2,097 or 7.2% higher than January. 
  • 2018: $24,791; $244 or 1% lower than January. 

J.D. Power average auction hammer price, three- to six-year-old benchmark sleeper tractor.Average auction selling price for 3- to 6-year-old sleeper tractors, adjusted for mileage.

The benchmark tractor brought 11.3% less money than in January and 30.4% less money than in February 2023. J.D. Power says values for the newest model years available in the marketplace are about 6% higher than in 2018 in nominal figures, or about 13% less if adjusted for inflation. 

[RELATED: Used truck volumes stayed strong in February]

On retail lots, the average sleeper tractor purchased in February was 71 months old with 435,808 miles. It cost $62,400. Compared with January, the average sleeper was the same age but with 1.6% fewer miles and brought 0.2% more money. Year over year, the average sleeper was two months newer with 7.4% fewer miles and brought 21.2% less money. 

Average pricing for late-model trucks, retail, was: 

  • 2023: $145,461; $3,811 or 2.7% higher than January. 
  • 2022: $128,769; $25,651 or 24.8% higher than January. 
  • 2021: $77,939; $1,504 or 2% higher than January. 
  • 2020: $60,939; $1,955 or 3.1% lower than January. 
  • 2019: $45,424; $3,392 or 6.9% lower than January. 
  • 2018: $35,025; $6,143 or 14.9% lower than January. 

Three- to five-year-old sleepers brought 10.4% more money in February than in January, but J.D. Power warns the number is inflated by a large number of three-year-old owner-operator trucks. Excluding those trucks, there was a 2.8% increase. These tractors brought 10.5% less money year-over-year. Late-model sleepers are now 13% higher than they were in 2018, or about 6% higher when adjusted for inflation. 

Average retail selling price for 3- to 5-year-old sleeper tractors, adjusted for mileage.Average retail selling price for 3- to 5-year-old sleeper tractors, adjusted for mileage.

Daycabs are doing better than sleepers after three to four years. Compared with January, late-model daycabs brought 1% more money in February, J.D. Power says. That's still 16% less than February 2023. The company says late-model daycabs will continue to bring more money than aerodynamic counterparts, all else being equal, for the foreseeable future. 

[RELATED: Current market softening expected to be short lived, experts say]

Daycab trucks are the core of the bankruptcy liquidation of Yellow Corporation, and J.D. Power says it's carefully watching the sales of the company's assets on the market. The first major sale was March 5, and pricing was "what you might expect for so many trucks and trailers released into the market in a short time." 

Finally, sales per rooftop nudged up slightly in February to 2.8 trucks. J.D. Power says finance rates could improve later this year, coinciding with a more favorable volume of incoming trades.  

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

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