The average wholesale used-vehicle price fell below $10,000 for the first time this year in July, according to ADESA Analytical Services data. The average price last month was $9,878, 3.3 percent below the June average.
But a short supply of used pickups and relatively high demand for used vehicles, especially manufacturer-certified ones, helped lift last month's average used-vehicle price 1.4 percent above the July 2014 average.
An uptick in the number of off-lease vehicles and the retiring of vehicles by rental fleets that typically starts in early September will continue to put pressure on used-vehicle prices, predicted Tom Kontos, ADESA chief economist.
"It's a little more than just a seasonal decline," he said.
Pickups, though, have been immune to the decline, ADESA data show. The average price of used full-size pickups in July was $14,745, an increase of almost 14 percent over the average price a year earlier and 2.2 percent above June's average.
The average price of used compact pickups in July rose 6.3 percent from a year earlier but fell 3 percent from the prior month.
Kontos said pickup prices are high because their supply is low. Pickups are fairly scarce at auctions because rental- and corporate-fleet companies, which typically use auctions to dispose of vehicles at the end of use, tend to favor cars over pickups for their fleets.
He also said pickup customers traditionally have tended to buy their vehicles, so few enter auctions off lease. "Many that we do get have been pretty worked over," having been used by utility, mining or construction companies, said Kontos. "When a dealer sees a good consumer pickup truck in the market, they nab it for all the money."
Falling gasoline prices also benefit pickup sales, he added.
Sales of certified used cars and trucks are also strong this year, Kontos noted.
Industry sales of certified used vehicles rose 12 percent through July to 1,497,359, according to data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center. The industry sold 221,933 certified used vehicles in July, up 11 percent from a year earlier.