The average sale price for used vehicles from fleet leasing consignors continued to outpace vehicles consigned to auction by manufacturers and dealers in February, according to Tom Kontos, KAR's chief economist.
Average wholesale prices for used vehicles remarketed by fleet leasing consignors increased 4.6% year-over-year. Meanwhile, average wholesale prices for vehicles remarketed by manufacturers decreased 1.8% year-over-year.
The overall average wholesale used vehicle price in February was $10,775, which represented a 0.6% increase over the year before, essentially staying flat.
Strong fleet consignment performance was a key part in keeping values flat through the month, as the gains seen in the fleet lease segment helped offset manufacturer and dealer consignment numbers.
Midsize cars had a strong showing among fleet lease consignors. In February, three-year-old vehicles with 36,000 to 45,000 miles from fleet leasing consignors sold for an average of $11,967, an increase of $411 over the year before.
Alternatively, midsize SUV/CUVs had a poor performance during February among fleet lease consignors, as the average sale price for the vehicle segment was $20,102, $471 less than the year before.
"A possible explanation for the strength of off-lease midsize car prices is that more off-lease cars are being bought 'upstream,' that is, in online-only sales from dealer lots and marshalling yards," said Kontos. "So, auctions may be seeing a relative scarcity of late-model midsize cars. On the other hand, there may be an abundance of midsize trucks at auction as more of these vehicles are making it 'downstream' to physical auction lots."
Contrary to fleet leasing consignors, manufacturer and dealer consignment favored trucks over sedans. Among manufacturer and dealer consignors, the average sale price for trucks was higher in February while the average price for sedans was lower.
Overall, mid-size pickups realized the biggest gain in wholesale price in February. The average sale price for a midsize pickup was $9,692, 8% higher than the year before.
The biggest decline came from full-size vans. The average sale price for a full-size van was $12,287, a 5.7% year-over-year decline.