23 Jun, 2024

Used-car prices plummet amid cost-of-living crunch

Australians are enjoying lower prices for used cars as a growing number of families turn to the second-hand market amid cost-of-living pressures.

Figures published by AutoGrab and the Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA) show more than two million used cars were sold nationwide in 2023, up a huge 34.4 per cent.

Prices also fell from peaks seen last March when used cars retained 75.8 per cent of their original value, reaching a low of 67 per cent (an 11.6 per cent decline) by the end of 2023.

The shift is a big turnaround from the pandemic years when used-car prices soared amid a series of global supply chain bottlenecks that limited the number of new vehicles available.

Those bottlenecks have now been resolved, and the influx of new vehicles has had a marked effect on the second-hand market, particularly as population growth picked up post-COVID-19.

AutoGrab chief operations officer Henry Pedersen said it’s been a “turbulent” year for used-car sales, with prices falling despite an increase in demand.

“There was a really long period there since mid-2020 where there was a shortage of new cars,” Pedersen said.

“That’s coming out of the market, which has immediately dropped prices. That’s a

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Tax Season Should Bring Peak Wholesale Used-Car Values

Tax refund season has begun, which usually results in the annual peak for wholesale used-vehicle values.

Anticipating that demand, dealer business picked up in late February, according to the latest Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index. Manheim says dealers should be aware tax refund/spring selling season for used cars is getting under way.

Averaged out over the entire month of February, wholesale used-vehicle values ​​were virtually flat for the third consecutive month, comparing December 2023, January 2024 and February. Manheim says price stability is welcome, but values ​​were still lower than a year ago.

The Manheim Index for February, which was published March 7, was 203.8. For December and January, it was 204. However, the February Manheim Index was down 13.1% vs. a year ago. The Manheim Index has been below the year-ago month for 18 consecutive months, according to Manheim data.

The seasonally adjusted average used car price was $18,645 in February 2024. That was down 13.1% from $21,452 in February 2023, Manheim says.

Analysts say used-vehicle values ​​are down in part because of the recovery in new-vehicle availability, along with an increase in new-vehicle factory incentives. That’s drawing well-qualified buyers back to new vehicles.

During the height of the

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