Used Commercial Truck Pricing Soared in 2021
2021 was a record-breaking year for used commercial truck pricing. Price Digests analysts saw unprecedented increases across classes 4 through 8, continuing a trend that began in 2020. Let’s take a look at the data, some of the trends driving this sharp price hike, and what can be expected as 2022 unfolds.
Resale values for heavy duty trucks never dipped below $70,000
In January of 2021, average resale values for Class 7 and 8 vehicles hit a peak of $76,009. They immediately dipped but never dropped below $70,000, ultimately ending the year at $74450 in December. Compare that to 2020, when average resale values peaked at $63074 in March.
Among class 4-6 vehicles, average resale values outpaced 2020 for the entire year, and hit a peak of nearly $60,000 in December.
The biggest surprise of 2021
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of our analysis is the doubling in price of some used models. Peterbilt models in particular spiked compared to 2019 prices.
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High demand and global supply chain issues persist
Underlying these price increases is the continued disruption of global supply chains and high demand for freight. While nearly every industry is reeling from the supply chain headaches initiated by the pandemic, truck manufacturing is one of the few that is a victim of its own demand. The supply chain disruptions make it harder to get key materials and components to vehicle manufacturers, only exacerbating the shortage. Because of these factors, orders for new trucks have dropped dramatically. In January 2022, preliminary Class 8 net orders were down 50% year-over-year, largely reflecting the weakness of the supply chain.
Demand for freight is also sky-high, driven partially by the sharp rise of e-commerce. Some experts predict that the pandemic accelerated e-commerce adoption and sophistication by five years. Growth in LTL is particularly high, as retailers shift to regional distribution patterns.
This demand offers a silver lining to organizations struggling with the high costs of used vehicles. Freight demand drove trucking contracts up to a record $2.51 per mile excluding fuel surcharges in December 2021. With loan rates being favorable right now, there is more than enough opportunity to justify the purchase of a used truck, even at these never-before-seen rates.
The factors driving high prices and low availability will take some time to resolve. And there’s no indication that they’ve hit a plateau just yet. Price Digests will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates throughout the year.
About Price Digests
Since 1911 Price Digests has served the vehicle data needs of the insurance, finance, government, and dealer markets through its portfolio of VIN decoding, specifications, and market value data solutions for the commercial truck, passenger vehicle, marine, powersport, and recreational vehicle asset classes. Our data insights help enterprises drive competitive advantage through asset data workflow efficiencies while also playing a pivotal role in decisions surrounding the purchase, valuation, operation, and risk mitigation of assets. Price Digests data is powered by The Truck Blue Book.