Used vehicle prices moderating but remain high after pandemic spike: survey

Used vehicle prices moderating but remain high after pandemic spike: survey
Used vehicles for sale are seen at an auto mall in Ottawa, on Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

A survey by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants indicates used vehicle prices continued to moderate in the first half of the year but remain higher than historical levels amid vehicle sourcing challenges.

The group says its poll of Used Car Dealers Association members found sales results for the first half of 2023 came in at an average of 67 units for independent used vehicle dealers, in line with the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the used vehicle arms of franchised new vehicle dealers saw an average of 155 sales, up from 148 a year ago, boosted by increased trade-ins.

But sales expectations for the entire year came in at 305 units for franchised new dealers and 140 for independents, lower than expectations reported at the beginning of the year, as 51 per cent of independent members say their sourcing troubles have worsened.

For used cars, 34 per cent of dealers reported price decreases compared with the first half of 2022 while 44 per cent noted increases, compared with less than a quarter that said prices were stable.

DesRosiers managing partner Andrew King says the used vehicle market saw a meteoric rise in prices, along with a sharp drop in availability, from 2020 to 2022, which started to come down toward the end of last year and into 2023 as improved new vehicle supply began to partially alleviate some pressure from used vehicle demand.

RELATED: Car prices, new and used, reaching historic levels due to high demand and low inventory

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2023.

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