Through the first half of August, wholesale used prices for vehicles up to eight years in age dropped by 3% relative to July. The month’s preliminary result is nearly identical to last August’s month-end figure of 2.9%.

The NADA Used Car Guide® forecast for the month has prices falling by 2.2% – 2.7% compared to July. Depreciation has slowed from well over 4% in the first week of August to its current rate, which suggests the month will close with depreciation near-to or slightly less than the current rates.

At the segment level, trucks continue to outperform cars. Mainstream truck, SUV, and van prices have performed the strongest, falling by slim averages ranging between 0.2% – 1.1%. The barely perceptible declines recorded in pickup and SUV prices are consistent with the strength exhibited over the past several months.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some of the largest drops have been observed in the subcompact and compact car segments. Prices for the pair month-to-date have tumbled by an average of 3.6%. For August, NADA Used Car Guide® estimates the price of regular grade gasoline will average $2.65 per gallon, down 14 cents from July. Relatively inexpensive gasoline prices help influence some of the recent softening in prices for these two gas-friendly segments.

Luxury segments were down 1.1% 2.9% with the exception of luxury large car prices, which actually increased by 0.9%. A lift in prices for luxury large cars is atypical during this period, as August depreciation for the segment over the past three years has averaged 2.2%. At the model level, 2008, 2009, and 2011 model year Lexus LS wholesale prices grew by a range of 1.8% – 4.4%, helping lift the overall segment average.