Data shows it's getting harder to find a cheap used pickup

(December 17, 2016) CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — CarGurus, a car shopping site, has released a study tracking the gap between the prices of used pickup trucks and that of other body styles. The data shows the average price of a used pickup for sale today is now 22% higher than it was four years ago, significantly outpacing the overall CarGurus Used Car Price Index, which is up only 1% over the same period.

CarGurus' analysts note that used pickup prices have rapidly increased from their January 2013 average listing price of $19,672. In January 2014, the used pickup index went up to $21,409, a year later it rose to $22,231, and it's currently averaging around $23,978.

While many factors impact used vehicle prices, analysts say increased demand is a primary driver of the increase in used truck prices. In the past year alone, shopper inquiries for used pickup trucks have increased 36% compared to those for all other used body styles.

CarGurus' study also compared 3- and 5-year price retention among the top 50 most shopped vehicle models and found the average retained value for pickups was higher than for other body styles studied. In the study, pickup trucks showed an average 18% drop in value from MSRP over 3 years compared to a 25% decrease in value across all models. Of the pickups analyzed, the Toyota Tacoma showed the highest retained value over 3 and 5 years.

"The pickup truck has become more popular over the past 3 years, likely due to low gas prices, improved economic conditions, and to some degree a broadening customer base," said Lisa Rosenberg, CarGurus Marketing Analyst. "This is a positive trend for truck owners looking to trade in, but for shoppers it's just a lot harder to find an affordable used pickup truck than it used to be. However, these shoppers can take comfort in the notion that their used pickup should retain its value equally strongly."


For this study, CarGurus analyzed average prices of used pickup trucks and all car models from January 2013 to December 2016 based on data from the CarGurus Used Car Price Index. Analysts also looked at changes in shopper inquiries over time. Depreciation was determined by comparing original MSRP to current Instant Market Value.