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Vehicle Depreciation Accelerates in Q1, Black Book Reports

April 12, 2016

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Year-over-year depreciation accelerated during the first quarter of 2016, demonstrating that the market has reached the peak of the spring season, according to Black Book. During the quarter, vehicles depreciated at a rate of 3.6%, compared to 0.6% during the year-before period.

Additionally, Black Book data found that the average price of used vehicles for model years 2010-2014 declined 0.9% during March. Full-size vans led all vehicle segments with the highest depreciation rate of 2.2%. Trucks followed with a depreciation rate of 1.3%, and cars experienced the least amount of depreciation at 0.4%.

“While this is the time of year when values see noticeable strength, it’s very apparent that this year’s spring market isn’t as strong as it has been the last few years,” said Anil Goyal, senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics for Black Book. “More than ever, it’s important for dealers and remarketers to pay close attention to the data to spot the trends that can shape their inventory strategies for the remainder of the year.”

Not all vehicle segments experienced depreciation in March, however. Sub-compact crossover values remained flat during March, ending the month with an average price of $12,218. Full-size cars — the best performing segment during March — experienced a 0.7% gain in value during the month, ending the period with an average price of $12,768. Sporty and compact cars both saw increases of 0.6% during March, bringing those segments’ average prices to $13,818 and $8,202, respectively.  

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