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Black Book: 2014 Used-Car Depreciation Stays Low

December 04, 2014

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. —According to Black Book data, the average price of a used vehicle for model years 2009-2013 saw slightly less depreciation in November (-1.9%) compared with October levels (-2.0%).

Domestic cars changed -2.2%; import cars changed -1.8%; domestic trucks changed -2.2%; and import trucks changed -1.6%. Average pre-recession depreciation is historically between -1% and -2% monthly, and Black Book expects overall 2014 depreciation of -13.5%.

Truck segments saw some of their largest monthly depreciation of the year at -2.2%, and the full-size pickups actually led all vehicle segments with the largest monthly depreciation at -3.0%. Trucks in this segment include the Ford F150, Chevrolet Avalanche, Dodge Ram, GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Tundra. This category finished the month with an average segment price of $25,784, a -7.0% change from year-ago levels ($27,723).

The compact cars led all car segments with the largest monthly depreciation at -2.6%, noticeable better from the previous month’s rate of -4.4% but still the highest among all car categories in November. Vehicles in this segment include the Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cobalt/Cruze, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus. This segment finished the month with an average price of $9,081, a -16.2% change from year-ago levels ($10,840).

Opposite the full-size pickups, the truck segment that saw the lightest monthly depreciation rate was the mid-size pickups category at -0.6%, in addition to full-size passenger vans that ended in positive territory at +0.9%. Vehicles in the mid-size pickup segment include the GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Colorado, Dodge Dakota and Honda Ridgeline. This segment finished the month with an average price of $16,860, a -6.8% change from year-ago levels ($18,099).

The mid-size SUVs (-0.9%) and the compact pickups (-1.4%) also finished with the lowest depreciation rates. However, the full-size and compact crossover segments at -2.1% joined the minivan segments as the trucks with the highest depreciation.

The sporty cars finished the month with the strongest depreciation rate among all cars at just -1.4%. However, joining the compact cars at the higher end of the spectrum were the upper mid-size cars (-2.6%) and the entry-level cars at -2.5%.

“With fuel prices falling to annual lows in November it didn’t surprise us to see weaker retention on the fuel-efficient and smaller used vehicles,” said Ricky Beggs, editorial director at Black Book. “However, overall it is surprising to see that the focus and strength of the new-car sales didn’t pull more demand from the used activity during November.”

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