Used-vehicle prices dropped 4.8 percent overall last month compared with May 2012. But prices of used pickups emerged as the only segment to show a slight, year-over-year price increase, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index reveals.
In May, average prices in the used-pickup segment were 0.5 percent above the average in May 2012.
Tom Webb, Manheim's chief economist, said used pickup prices are being buoyed by increased demand for them in construction and service industries. Also lifting prices is the generally tight supply of used trucks, the result of a drop in new-truck sales a few years ago, when the housing and construction markets were depressed.
"Typically pickups change hands less frequently, and the commercial fleets don't have a tremendous number coming back" into the used-vehicle market, he said. "And when they do, typically they are getting good prices for them."
For the second half of the year, Webb says the downward pressure on overall used-vehicle prices from an increase in off-lease vehicles entering the market might be less than some analysts anticipated. That's because the ratio of new- and used-vehicle prices has already realigned to more typical levels, he says.
For May, the Manheim Index stood at 119.1, down from 125.1 in May 2012 and down from 119.2 in April. May's decline was the fifth monthly decrease in a row and was significantly smaller than the other monthly decreases this year. The index, based on a January 1995 benchmark of 100, measures monthly changes in used-vehicle values and is adjusted for vehicle model mix, mileage and time of year.