Pickup trucks usually command good prices at used vehicle auctions. Dealers reported that 2016 was an especially strong year for pickup resale. But Kelley Blue Book says that things might change this year.
KBB said that average values for 1- to 3-year-old pickup trucks have remained strong, as a result of high demand at auction, despite fuel prices peaking in December 2016, as covered in the company's Blue Book Market Report for the fourth quarter of 2016.
Higher fuel prices may now be denting the values of used pickups.
"Historically, fuel prices and pickup truck segments have maintained an inverse relationship," said Sean Foyil, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.
"As fuel prices increase, demand for trucks tends to decline. While pickups continued to see exceptionally high demand throughout 2016, despite a 10 percent increase in December in the average cost of fuel, 2017 could turn out to be a tough year for trucks, as fuel prices are expected to continue increasing through the first quarter," Foyil said.
Higher interest rates could also hurt pickup values in 2017.
Overall, auction values for 1- to 3-year-old vehicles were down more than 15 percent for 2016, KBB said.
In just the fourth quarter, values fell a substantial 6.8 percent, or $1,146 per unit.