New analysis from the vehicle data services provider Polk identified 171,724 used commercial vehicle registrations in the first quarter of the year, an increase of 4.7% when compared to used registrations during the first quarter of 2012. 

With the exception of first quarter 2011, used registrations in the first quarter of the 2013 calendar year are the highest since 2005.  During this same period, new commercial vehicle registrations were down 4.4%.

“This is a significant development for the market, in that while new registrations are soft, when compared to the same quarter in the previous calendar year or with the level of new registrations during the last quarter of 2012, there is still solid demand for used commercial vehicle equipment, said Gary Meteer, director, aftermarket and commercial vehicle solutions at Polk.  “Since smaller businesses and individual owners are the primary purchasers of used equipment, the strong demand is an indication that these companies are positive and confident about their business, and therefore replacing older equipment or adding vehicles to their fleet.”

Used commercial vehicle transactions during the first quarter of 2013, when compared to the first quarter of 2012, were strong in each gross vehicle weight category:

  • Class 8, up 3%.
  • Class 7, up 3.9%.
  • Class 6, up 4.6%.
  • Class 5, up 10.5%.
  • Class, 4, up 4%.
  • Class 3, up 6.5%.

Used commercial vehicle transactions accounted for about 57.1% of total registrations during the first quarter, 2013. The share of total commercial vehicle registrations accounted for by used transactions continues to decline from a high of 70% in the first quarter of the 2011 calendar year.