By applying statistical analysis to its database of more than 5 million used vehicle transactions annually, Manheim has developed a measurement of used vehicle prices that is independent of underlying shifts in the characteristics of vehicles being sold. View the index methodology.
The Manheim Index is increasingly recognized by both financial and economic analysts as the premier indicator of pricing trends in the used vehicle market, but should not be considered indicative or predictive of any individual remarketer's results.
Wholesale Used-Vehicle Prices See Increase in First Half of March
Wholesale used-vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 1.8% from February in the first 15 days of March. The midmonth Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index rose to 238.6, which was down 2.1% from the full month of March 2022. The seasonal adjustment minimized the gains. The non-adjusted price change in the first half of March was an increase of 3.8% compared to February, while the unadjusted price was down 2.6% year over year.
Over the last two weeks, Manheim Market Report (MMR) prices increased by an aggregate of 1.6%. Prices usually increase in the first two weeks of March, as the average price change for these weeks in the six years from 2014 through 2019 was an increase of 1.2%. Over the first 15 days of March, MMR Retention, the average difference in price relative to current MMR, averaged 100.5%, indicating that valuation models are below market prices. The average daily sales conversion rate of 68.3% in the first half of March increased relative to February’s daily average of 63.8% and was above the March 2019 daily average of 65.3%.
Seven of eight major market segments saw seasonally adjusted prices that were again lower year over year in the first half of March. Pickups had a 0.9% increase, while only midsize and compact cars lost less compared to the overall industry in seasonally adjusted year-over-year changes. The remaining segments lost between 2.4% and 7.7%, with luxury cars faring the worst. Seven of eight major segments saw price increases compared to February, with gains ranging from 0.1% to 2.4%. Sports cars were the lone exception, with a 2.4% decline from February.
Retail and wholesale days’ supply below normal in mid-March. Using estimates based on vAuto data as of March 13, used retail days’ supply was 38 days, which was down three days from the end of February. Days’ supply was down 11 days year over year and down four days compared with the same week in 2019. Leveraging Manheim sales and inventory data, we estimate that wholesale supply ended February at 24 days, down two days from the end of January and down four days year over year. As of March 15, wholesale supply was at 22 days, down one day from the end of February, down four days year over year, and four days lower than in 2019. Used supply measured in days’ supply and compared to 2019 suggests supply is below normal for this time of year, which indicates conditions that favor sellers.
Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index
January 1997 = 100
January 1997 = 100
Price Changes for
Selective Market Classes
Mid-March 2023 vs March 2022
Rental risk prices increase in first two weeks of March. The average price for rental risk units sold at auction in the first 15 days of March was up 2.1% year over year. Rental risk prices were up 0.3% compared to the full month of February. Average mileage for rental risk units in the first half of March (at 65,100 miles) was up 3.4% compared to a year ago and up 7.2% month over month.
Tax refund dollars down compared to last year. The 2023 tax refund season is well ahead of last year in terms of the distribution of refunds, but the average refund is down. With statistics through the week ending March 3, more than $127 billion in refunds have been issued. While the number of refunds issued is 11% ahead of last year, 1.5% less has been disbursed than last year, and the average refund at $3,028 is down 11% year over year. The faster distribution of refunds caused this year’s tax refund season to start earlier, but the decline in dollars and in the average refund is likely to lead to less robust sales this spring.