The spring/tax season market reached full-bloom in April as average wholesale prices reached what will likely be peak or near-peak levels for the year based on historical seasonal trends.

Car prices moved in parity with truck prices overall on a month-over-month basis and showed particular strength in the off-lease segment at physical auctions.

Watch my April 2019 Kontos Kommentary below:


According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of Wholesale Used Vehicle Prices by Vehicle Model Class, wholesale used vehicle prices in April averaged $11,489 – up 3.6% compared to March and up 3.4% relative to April 2018.

Fullsize cars and minivans were the only segments that did not show month-over-month average price increases, and their declines were modest.

When holding constant for sale type, model-year age, mileage, and model class segment — using criteria that characterize off-lease units — prices were up significantly on a year-over-year basis for midsize cars but down substantially for midsize SUV/CUVs, as seen in the following table:

Average wholesale prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers were up 2.9% month-over-month but down 1.6% year-over-year. Prices for fleet/lease consignors were up 4.4% sequentially and up 4.3% annually. Average prices for dealer consignors were up 3.6% versus March and up 1.1% relative to April 2018.

Based on Edmunds data, retail used vehicle sales by franchised dealers were up 3.8% year-over-year in April, and 2.4% year-to-date.  April CPO sales were down 12.6% from the prior month’s record levels but up 1.3% year-over-year, according to figures from Autodata. On a year-to-date basis, CPO sales were up 1.7% versus last year.