Wholesale vehicle prices for former fleet vehicles at auction increased 0.8% in May from April and have increased 6.8% from a year ago in a "seasonally strong" market, according to Tom Kontos, KAR Auction Services' chief economist.
Average wholesale prices have increased year over year for three consecutive months and used vehicle sales have been strong especially for independent dealers, Kontos wrote in his monthly commentary.
Prices of vehicles in popular fleet catagories such as midsize cars and midsize SUVs saw growth from a year ago. Midsize car prices for fleet consignors increased 3.5% to $11,943, while midsize SUV prices increased 2.6% to $20,858. These vehicles are three years old with between 36,000 and 45,000 miles.
Automotive manufacturers have seen solid results with upstream sales of off-lease vehicles at physical auctions. Vehicles sold by manufacturers fell 2% from April but have increased 5.7% from a year ago. Dealer-consigned vehicles fell 1.5% from April and have fallen 3.2% from a year ago.
"Wholesale values for off-lease units are holding up well despite the overall softening market trend, and is evidence of the effectiveness of new remarketing approaches in redistributing supply into various sales channels and geographically," Kontos wrote.