$ 29,000 for an average used car? Potential buyers are aghast | Automotive

The days when just about anyone with a steady income could walk around a parking lot and grab a reliable late model car or buy their child’s first vehicle for a few thousand dollars are all but gone.

“I’ve never seen anything close to this – it’s crazy,” said Schrier, who has been selling cars for 35 years. “It’s pretty frustrating for so many people right now.”

A dealership sign is seen outside a Honda Certified Used Car dealership in Schaumburg, Ill. On December 16, 2021.

AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh

When the government announced that consumer inflation had climbed 6.8% in the 12 months ending in November – the biggest jump in almost 40 years – the biggest factor aside energy, was used vehicles. And as the rate of increase slows, most experts say inflated vehicle prices are unlikely to ease for the foreseeable future.

The blame can be attributed directly to the outbreak of the pandemic in March of last year. Auto factories have suspended production in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. As new vehicle sales declined, fewer people traded in used cars and trucks. At the same time, demand for laptops and monitors from people trapped at home has led semiconductor manufacturers to shift production from automobiles, which rely on these chips, to large electronics. public.

When a faster-than-expected economic rebound boosted demand for vehicles, auto factories attempted to restore full production. But the chipmakers couldn’t react quickly enough. And car rental companies and other fleet buyers, unable to acquire new vehicles, have stopped offloading old ones, exacerbating the shortage of used vehicles.

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