How low can they go? Used automobile costs are falling, however don’t count on a return to prepandemic ranges

How low can they go? Used automobile costs are falling, however don’t count on a return to prepandemic ranges
How low can they go? Used automobile costs are falling, however don’t count on a return to prepandemic ranges

Used automobile costs in Canada are falling, however they may stay greater than they had been earlier than the pandemic threw the auto market into disarray, say specialists.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

With common used automobile costs lastly coming down after reaching a file excessive in June, consumers who had been priced out of the market or annoyed by empty dealership tons could also be questioning simply how low costs will go.

Specialists predict that used automobile costs in Canada will proceed to fall, however they’ll stay greater than they had been earlier than the pandemic threw the auto market into disarray.

“Though we imagine there’s going to be additional softening out there, we don’t count on the costs to return to pre-COVID ranges any time quickly,” stated Baris Akyurek, director of selling intelligence at, an internet market for brand new and used automobiles.

Associated: The used vehicles with the very best retained worth, together with some which are value extra

In February 2020, a month earlier than the pandemic was formally declared, the typical asking value for used vehicles on AutoTrader’s Canadian web site was virtually $27,000. In 2021, costs skyrocketed, pushed by myriad elements together with provide shortages and robust demand, earlier than lastly peaking at $38,097 in June 2022.

Costs fell in July, and, starting in August, have been dropping at an growing fee month-over-month, in accordance with AutoTrader’s information. Between September and October, common asking costs dropped 1.1 per cent to $37,141.

Regardless of that, used vehicles had been nonetheless 20 per cent costlier in October than they had been on the similar time final yr, and are properly above prepandemic ranges.

Andrew King, managing companion of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, stated he’s not anticipating costs to revert to their historic norms. “[Used vehicle prices] are unlikely to get again to pre-COVID ranges. It’s simply not going to occur,” King wrote in an electronic mail.

Manheim’s third-quarter Used Automobile Worth Index report – which tracks the costs sellers pay for vehicles at public sale – confirmed a decline in each america and Canada since January. However costs on the Canadian wholesale market have been steadier by way of the second and third quarters of 2022.

Gross sales slowdown

DesRosiers is forecasting a “restricted decline” in used automobile gross sales for 2023, assuming new-vehicle provide improves, King stated. He cited rising rates of interest, a possible recession and an growing provide of latest automobiles as key drivers of the expected slowdown.

Nearly one-third of shoppers who just lately purchased a used automobile stated they did so as a result of the automobile they had been searching for wasn’t accessible new, or there was a protracted ready checklist, in accordance with a survey carried out for AutoTrader in 2022. Assuming the availability of latest vehicles does enhance subsequent yr, these sorts of consumers would possible abandon the used automobile market, lowering demand.

The Financial institution of Canada’s rate of interest will increase, which make borrowing cash to purchase a automobile far more costly, are additionally having a cooling impact on the used automobile market.

Usually, the used market is extra delicate to fee will increase, wrote Robert Karwel, senior supervisor of J.D. Energy’s Energy Info Community. “The rationale why,” he defined in an electronic mail, “is that there are almost zero incentives for used automobile purchases.”

Within the new automobile market, automakers can soften the impact of fee will increase by providing incentives like money rebates or below-market rates of interest. Used automobile consumers, nevertheless, are typically uncovered to the complete pressure of fee will increase.

As well as, rates of interest on used automobile loans are sometimes greater than on new vehicles. “The end result might be that extra folks begin taking longer loans on used automobiles, with the intention to maintain the fee at a sure month-to-month vary,” Karwel added. Some debtors with poor credit score scores might be priced out of the market fully.

Growing stock

In the event you’re out there for a used automobile now, there may be some excellent news: Patrons have extra selection.

The provision of used vehicles has been bettering since February, Akyurek stated. There at the moment are 24 per cent extra used automobiles on the market on the corporate’s web site than there have been right now final yr.

In an effort to extend their used automobile stock, sellers have been shopping for vehicles from personal sellers, Akyurek stated, slightly than counting on wholesale auctions, as would have been the case earlier than the pandemic. And sellers have additionally been promoting vehicles they wouldn’t have stocked earlier than the availability shortages, comparable to older fashions or these with greater mileage.