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‘Prices are through the roof’ as used truck sales drop in June

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Managing Editor of Fleet Equipment Magazine

According to the latest numbers from ACT Research, preliminary used Class 8 sales dropped 6% month-over-month and 12% year-over-year in June.

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Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for June 2021, which showed that average prices increased 5%, as average miles fell 1% and average age was unchanged compared to May. Compared to June of 2020, average price was 63% higher, with average miles and age lower y/y by 5% and 2%, respectively. On a year-to-date basis, average price is 38% above its year-ago level for the first six months of 2020, with average miles and age down 4% and 3%, respectively, on a year-to-date basis.

“The industry is starting to see tougher comparisons, since it did not take long to shake off the immediate effects of COVID-19,” said Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research. “Year-to-date gains also started to erode, slipping nine percentage points, to 23%. The drop in sales was counter to seasonal expectations, which called for about a 10% increase. However, lack of inventory continues to hamstring sales efforts.

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“For the first time since we started following the used truck market almost 20 years ago, the average price of three-year-old trucks with 300-400,000 miles on them broke the six-figure barrier,” he continued. “The feat is made even more impressive when one considers prices for these late model trucks started the year at just over $70,000. Arguably, the trucks did not change to justify the increase in price. Rather, the simple law of supply and demand has created a scarcity situation, and there is no viable substitute to the venerable Class 8 truck. Hence, prices are through the roof, with no relief in sight.”

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