Potential Stabilization in Used Vehicle Prices for 2023: Insights from Cox Automotive

Used vehicle
Image commercially licensed from: DepositPhotos

In the realm of used vehicles, 2023 has seen intriguing shifts. After months of fluctuation, there are indications that prices may have found their footing, albeit tentatively. Cox Automotive, a trusted source in the automotive industry, has provided valuable insights that shed light on this intriguing development.

A Glimpse at the Data:

Cox Automotive’s Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index for August 2023

In the world of wholesale used vehicles, August marked an interesting turn of events. Cox Automotive’s Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, a key indicator of price trends, recorded a reading of 212.2 in August. This figure represented a subtle 0.2% increase from the preceding month, July. While this might appear as a modest shift, it’s significant because it marks the first time prices have risen since March.

The Bigger Picture:

Contextualizing the Fluctuations

To appreciate the significance of this modest upturn, it’s essential to consider the broader context. Used vehicle prices have been on a rollercoaster ride, primarily influenced by the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions that have persisted in recent years.

Historically, prices had soared to unprecedented heights due to these factors. However, the latest data suggests a change in trajectory. Although the current index remains notably higher than historical levels, it’s worth noting that it has declined by 7.7% compared to August 2022.

Expert Insights:

Chris Frey’s Perspective

Chris Frey, the Senior Manager of Economic and Industry Insights at Cox, provides a crucial perspective on these developments. He remarked, “August brought a stop to wholesale price declines, though it was only a small reversal of the larger magnitude declines so far this spring and early summer.”

Frey’s assessment suggests that while the tide has shifted, it hasn’t yet resulted in a significant change in the overall trend. This raises the question: what lies ahead for the used vehicle market?

Future Projections:

Navigating the Remainder of 2023

According to Frey, the outlook for wholesale used vehicle prices in the coming months remains relatively stable. Factors such as limited inventories and anticipated sales levels are expected to act as stabilizing forces, preventing substantial price declines.

Cox’s estimations reveal that used vehicle retail sales in August saw a 5% increase compared to July, with a year-over-year increase of 0.8%. In July, the average listed price for a used vehicle was $27,028. While this figure was slightly lower than the previous month, it remains considerably higher than historical norms.

The Road Ahead:

Cox’s Vision for the Future

Looking ahead, Cox Automotive anticipates a gradual return to pre-pandemic price levels in the wholesale used vehicle market. Their projection extends to the year 2028, signifying a slow and steady recovery.


In conclusion, the world of used vehicle pricing in 2023 appears to be undergoing a subtle transformation. While the recent increase in wholesale prices signifies a potential stabilization, it’s crucial to remain vigilant as the market continues to navigate the complexities of a post-pandemic world. Cox Automotive’s insights provide a valuable compass, guiding industry professionals and enthusiasts alike through this dynamic landscape.