Auction Industry Report Shows Q4 Wrapped Up a Pivotal Year

The total auction fees typically deducted from proceeds at sale settlement climbed to $427 in Q4 2023, compared to $403.81 in Q4 2022.

Photo: Akron Auto Auction

2023 marked a rise in auction volumes, changes in average vehicle damage and pricing trends, and other benchmarks that point to a remarketing industry adapting to changing patterns of supply, demand, and more market stability, according to the AutoIMS Industry View, a quarterly data report released Jan. 25 that offers the company’s perspective on the industry.

This latest Industry View blends the findings of quarterly data with an annual summary for 2023 of collective auction activity.

“The preceding year marked a pivotal point, not just in terms of volume but also in the nature and quality of the vehicles that made their way to auctions,” the report concluded.

The comprehensive auction data report from AutoIMS, an automotive remarketing technology firm based in Atlanta, aggregates input from 750+ auctions across North America that collectively take in vehicles from more than 1,000 consignors. The metrics reflect most of the commercial vehicle sales volume at wholesale physical auto auctions.

Key Auction Data Points

Among highlights of the Q4 report:

  • The conversion rate hit 61.4% in Q4 2023, up from 58.9% in Q4 2022.
  • The average sale price declined from $14,345 in Q4 2022 to $13,327 in Q4 2023.
  • The average vehicle grade fell slightly from 2.91 in Q4 2022 to 2.86 in Q4 2023.
  • Average mileage rose to 91,802 miles in Q4 2023 from 90,187 in Q4 2022.
  • The average damage estimate reached $2,935 in Q4 2023, compared to $2,529 in Q4 2022.
  • The total auction fees typically deducted from proceeds at sale settlement climbed to $427 in Q4 2023, compared to $403.81 in Q4 2022.

In identifying market influencers, the reported cited the “interplay between factors such as repossession rates, rental fleet dynamics, and logistical challenges in vehicle transportation adding layers of complexity.”

2022 Comparisons Provide Perspective

Among trends and transformations in the used vehicle market during the last two years, the report mentions:

  • The used car market saw a big surge in auction volumes last year, with overall commercial sales increasing by about 15% compared to 2022.
  • Average damage per vehicle has continued to increase since January 2022, rising about 30% through December 2023, likely due to an increase in repossessions and rental fleet inventory.
  • Average sale prices softened, stabilizing about $1,000 below 2022 month-over-month, which is likely consistent with the increase in volumes and damage.
  • Auction charges have shown less volatility and more stability compared to 2022, hovering around an average of about $420 per vehicle all year.
  • It’s taking a bit longer for vehicles to get to auction as the availability of transportation adjusts to rising volumes.

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