Used Truck Sales in April Jump 30% From Last Year

Average Retail Price, Mileage Down From Same Month in 2023
Used trucks for sale
(Palmer Truck Sales via Facebook)

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Used Class 8 truck sales in April increased 29.6% compared with the same period the prior year, ACT Research reported.

Sales rose to 22,800 units from 17,600 during the 2023 period. They also experienced a sequential rise of 5.1% from 21,700 units in March. The average retail sale price fell 17.3% year-over-year to $58,869 from $71,205, and 1.9% from $59,987 the prior month. Mileage decreased 1.9% to 420,000 from 428,000 a year ago but was up 0.7% from 417,000 the prior month.

“On a year-over-year basis, used retail prices were 17% lower,” ACT Research Vice President Steve Tam said. “In our most recent update, pricing pressure abated moderately from Q4 2023 to Q1 2024. Prices are expected to remain relatively stable through most of 2024, transitioning to year-over-year growth in late Q3 or early Q4. Sequential growth most likely will take place at the end of 2024.”

Tam also noted that same-dealer retail truck sales slowed for a second straight month in April. That month typically falls 10 percentage points from the previous month to about 1 percentage point below average. He also pointed out wholesale activity contracted by a much greater amount at a month-to-month decline of 30%.

Steve Tam


“It was pretty boring that from April to May, it’s pretty much a status quo situation, which is good in the fact that I’m not seeing any further deterioration,” said Trey Golden, vice president of used truck sales at Rush Enterprises. “I think used truck sales, I see values doing what they should be doing now, which is good.

“But having said that, it seems like the path to a reasonable recovery is longer, or the time frame is further out.”

Golden hasn’t seen much progress on new truck orders, either. He noted that a lot of truck manufacturers have been trying to push sales before an expected surge in demand heading into 2027. But he sees customers being more in survival mode trying to get through the current freight market.

Trey Golden


“Freight is the same way; not getting any better, not getting any worse, maybe getting like just barely a tick better,” Golden said. “So at least it feels like we’ve firmed up to the bottom, but it doesn’t mean that we’re headed for a reasonable or a quick recovery. That’s where I feel like I’m at. But from a performance standpoint, our April and May were very similar.”

Golden added he has been hearing credit has been getting tighter and noted that used truck buyers typically are the least capitalized and have weaker credit, so they’re the first ones that are going to be turned down. He understands why credit is tightening given the current environment but warns being unable to finance equipment could become a problem.


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“Used truck values have been stagnant and sluggish, struggling much like U.S. freight,” said Paul Rosa, senior vice president of procurement and fleet planning at Penske. “For several months, used Class 8 values have been bouncing on the bottom — 1% up then a 1% down, regardless of disposal channel.”

Rosa suspects much of the industry is waiting for something to ignite to drive freight and used truck values. He expects pre-buys to start soon given upcoming emission regulations going into effect starting in January.

“Once that happens, used values will see an additional increase,” Rosa said. “For buyers, now is the best time to purchase a used Class 8 tractor. Those looking to replace their fleet with a used option should act quickly as it will be the lowest price point for the next several years.”

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