Used-vehicle values are cooling off, but prices as of mid-October still hovered nearly 10 percent above year-end 2019 levels.
For the week ended Oct. 17, wholesale vehicle prices at Manheim auctions were 9.7 percent higher than at the start of the year, and retail prices were 9 percent higher, according to Cox Automotive. But prices slipped for that week compared with the week before — down 0.6 percent for 2017 models at Manheim and down 0.2 percent at retail.
"Weekly price data continued to show used-vehicle prices falling," Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said last week.
The year took an abrupt turn from normalcy in March as the coronavirus spread rapidly in the U.S. and state and local governments issued stay-at-home orders. Many businesses had to close, even if temporarily, and automakers stopped vehicle production.
Vehicle auctions went all-digital or halted sales altogether. By the second week of April, wholesale vehicle sales had plummeted as values tumbled. But May's strong recovery took hold.