The average price of two- to seven-year-old vehicles depreciated less sharply than expected in February due to "a spirited start to the spring selling season" that has boosted prices for used passenger cars, according to Black Book.
Vehicles from model years 2012 to 2016 fell 1.1% in value. Cars fell 0.7%, while trucks fell 1.4% in value. The month represented an improvement from the 2.6% depreciation in January.
Subcompact cars increased 0.8% in value in the month. The category that includes the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, and Hyundai Accent has depreciated 17.8% to $5,936 from a year ago.
"February's start of the spring selling season was only slightly off the mark set last year at minus 0.8% on the month, but it was still a very impressive month, particularly for a handful of car segments," said Anil Goyal, Black Book's executive vice president of operations. "Our auction personnel will have a watchful eye in the days and weeks to come to see if activity heats up further despite the winter storms in the north, and to see which car and truck segments continue to get a lot of looks by dealers and remarketers."
The category with the highest depreciation (of 2.8%) came from subcompact luxury CUVs such as the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Mercedes-Benz GLA. The category fell 19.7% to $15,122 from a year ago.
Four segments depreciated at least 2% in February, including near luxury cars (2.6%), full-size SUVs (2.3%), and luxury cars (2.1%).