Used truck values dropped more than 20% last year

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Updated Jan 19, 2017

Polk Used TrucksUsed truck prices fell in 2016, with sleeper tractors losing about 30 percent of their value at auction from January to December, compared to 23 percent through retail channels, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

Trucks sold at auction in 2016 brought about 30 percent less money than the year before, while trucks sold retail brought an estimated 13 percent less.

“Depreciation generally accelerated in the second half of 2016,” says Chris Visser, J.D. Power commercial vehicle senior analyst and product manager. “From January to December, trucks of model year 2013 lost about 22 percent of their value, trucks of model year 2012 lost about 37 percent and trucks of model year 2011 lost about 32 percent.”

Last year’s annual losses translate to an overall monthly loss of about 2.5 percent, which Visser beats J.D. Power’s early estimate of 3 to 5 percent.

“This figure is also better than the nearly 5 percent average monthly loss in the second half of 2015,” he adds, “but of course selling prices are roughly 30 percent lower today than they were then.”

Based on the supply of the most popular sleeper tractors, Visser says he expects continued robust supply and downward pressure on pricing throughout this year.

“Based on deliveries of new trucks over the past five years, we expect an increase in returning supply of trucks in 2017,” he says. “It is likely that OEMs are already stockpiling some quantity of these trucks, keeping them out of the marketplace until conditions potentially change.”

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected]