Friday, December 9, 2022


Statistics don’t lie. Used truck prices catapult 70 percent in one year!


Statistics tell stories, with some of the best storytellers by numbers being the number calculators at the U.S. Department of Labor who prepare the Consumer Price Index. The prices of used trucks represent arguably the most dramatic example.

According to the latest Consumer Price Index and Manheim, Inc., the world’s largest wholesale auto auction, the overall inflation from May 2020 to May 2021 was 5 percentage. Combined, the inflation rate of used cars and trucks increased nearly 30 percent in the same time. Used vehicles comprise one-third of the entire inflation increase.

A chip shortage for new trucks mean used trucks' value dramatically increased.
A chip shortage for new trucks means used trucks’ value dramatically increased.

The automotive industry’s decline, similar to other industries, began at the start of the pandemic. Dealerships in most areas were forced to close in-person locations. Consumer demand tanked, with a 2 percent decrease in used vehicle prices for May of 2020 from a year earlier.

Used truck values skyrocket

But the numbers changed quickly. High demand for vehicles added to the current microchip shortage resulted in supply shortages and huge price spikes. According to Manheim, used pickup truck prices increased by 70 percent.

Not all vehicle segments had similar vast price hikes, but SUVs and crossovers rose 43 percent. Luxury, mid-size and compact cars all increased by 40 percent in the year beginning in May 2020.

The inflation rate in the auto industry is further staggering when individual industries are considered.

Here’s a list from May 2020 to May 2021:

Food: 2.2 percent increase; New vehicles: (+3.3); Apparel: (+5.6); Car insurance: (+16.9); Airfare: (+24.1); Used cars and trucks: (+29.7).


No chips for new trucks means big bucks for used trucks
Used truck sales: No surprise: Ford, Chevy, Ram lead pack
Toyota reigns as most reliable, best buy among used trucks

James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, He can be reached via email:


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Bob M
1 year ago

Was at Gibbons Ford a couple weeks ago to see if the had any Ford hybrid F150’s. Didn’t see any new full size pickup trucks. A few new Rangers, but a large number of used pickup truck from various manufacturers. They claim to be one of the largest Ford dealers in Pa.

Ke Pe
1 year ago
1 year ago

My favorite SUV…the Dodge Hellcat shows about $95,000.00 right now. Fastest tow vehicle imaginable. Lites up the tires and dishes go everywhere. For mature drivers only.

Bob M
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

Gets about 12 mpg which might equal 6 mpg towing.

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago

I was at my local Ford dealer for an oil change this week. The sales manager ran into me as I was wandering around the empty sales lot and asked if I wanted to sell my 2016 F-350. He could make me a “killer deal”. I saw one 2016 F-250 in the lot selling for $10k OVER what I paid for MY truck in 2018! He also agreed that if I sold him MY truck I would be left with NO truck because he had nothing for me to “trade up” to. He also added, “This isn’t just local. It’s EVERYWHERE!”

So now my truck is an “investment piece”.