Used vehicles depreciated an average of 3.6% in the first quarter compared to 0.6% in 2015 in a signal of sharper depreciation, but values improved in March over January and February levels, according to Black Book.
March depreciation of vehicles from the 2010-2014 model years fell 0.9% compared to the 1.1% decline in February and 1.6% fall in January. In March, cars declined 0.4%, while trucks declined 1.3%.
"While this is the time of year when values see noticeable strength, it's very apparent that this year's spring market isn’t as strong as it has been the last few years," said Anil Goyal, senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics. "More than ever, it’s important for dealers and remarketers to pay close attention to the data to spot the trends that can shape their inventory strategies for the remainder of the year."
Full-size vans led all Black Book vehicle segments with the highest depreciation of the month at 2.2%. Vans in this segment include the Chevrolet Express (1500, 2500, and 3500), as well as the Ford E-Series (150, 250 and 350). These vans entered April with an average segment price of $19,042, a 11.7% drop from a year ago.
As the top segment for the month, full-size cars increased 0.7% in value. The segment finished March with an average price of $12,768. Vehicles include the Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300, Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon.
One of March's other gainers was compact cars, which increased 0.6%. The segment’s average price increased to $8,247 from $8,202 in February. Vehicles in this segment include the Honda Civic, Mazda3, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai Elantra.
Sporty cars also increased in value at 0.6% to $13,898.