Rental units have held up relatively well at auction, surprising some industry watchers given the overall weakness of cars in the wholesale market.
Unadjusted auction prices for rental risk units remained near record levels in August, Manheim reports.
This was due in part of the low mileage of these units. When adjusted for mileage and other factors, auction prices were down 1.2 percent from a year ago.
However, supply was also higher, so that decline is fairly small.
By comparison, the average auction pricing for midsize fleet cars is running below the prior two years, despite lower average mileage at time of sale.
The rental units purchased at auction are almost all bought by independent dealers, said Manheim chief economist Tom Webb. Franchise dealers buy their off-rental units upstream for the most part.
These units appeal to independents as much because creditors like them as consumers.
“It’s still a good product that can get good financing,” Webb said.
This means a strong demand for these units among consumers buying cars out of need rather than want.