Used vehicles sold at auction lost a scant 0.3 percent of their value in March, a month known for strong retention as tax-refunded buyers come out in droves, according to Black Book.
Harsh weather somewhat dampened the buying during the month, said Ricky Beggs, Black Book's senior vice president and editorial director.
"The harsh winter weather delayed the annual Tax Buying Season by keeping wholesale buyers on the sidelines longer than normal," said Beggs. "Typically, spring buyers will stock up in February and March, but the colder winter this year will mean the heavy buying season will take place in March and April instead."
Sales of vehicles from model years 2008 to 2012 posted their strongest month of the year compared to the 1.1 percent depreciation rate in February and 1.9 percent value loss in January.
Entry-level cars led all segments with a 2.6 percent increase in value with an average sale price of $7,491, a 15.9 percent fall from year-ago levels ($8,912). Vehicles in the category include the Chevrolet Aveo, Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Nissan Versa, and Toyota Yaris.
Prestige luxury cars logged the highest depreciation, falling 2.1 percent to $33,643. Vehicles in this segment include the BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus GS Class, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and Jaguar XJ.
In the truck segments, cargo minivans led the way by gaining 1.7 percent in value with an average sale price of $9,218, a 17.6 percent fall from a year ago ($11,189). Vehicles in this category include the Dodge Caravan and Ford Transit Connect.
The sharpest depreciation among trucks came among luxury SUVs, which fell 1.3 percent in March to $33,591. These vehicles include the Cadillac Escalade, Toyota Land Cruiser, Land Rover LR3 and LR4, Lincoln Navigator, and BMW X5.