As the weather warmed up in spring 2021, so did auto prices. A shortage of computer chips has been affecting markets across the board. Technology, electronic toys, cars, farm equipment and more have all seen an increase in prices.
The Delta variant further delayed the return to normal, hitting countries where these chips are manufactured the most. Because of this, automakers reported having around 1 million new cars and trucks in their lots in August 2021, roughly 2.5 million fewer vehicles than in August 2019, according to CNBC.
Auto production as a whole is at an all-time low, and many consumers are asking the question:
When will things return to normal?
That’s the million-dollar question.
Unfortunately, the inventory of new, used and rental cars might not return to normal until 2023, according to some analysts.
New-car prices hit a record high in July 2021 for the 4th straight month in a row. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average transaction was $42,736. That’s an 8 percent increase from 2020.
Few, if any, discounts are being offered. Many dealers are having to slow down or halt production. Many have had to fill their lots with used vehicles.
For instance, here at Bryant Motors, our new vehicle inventory dropped to just 4 new cars, SUVs and trucks as of January 2022. On the flip side, there are great deals to be had with our used car inventory up to 60 at the beginning of the year.
How to get the best deal
Even with market prices skyrocketing, there are still things you can do to keep from breaking the bank if you are in the market for a new or used car.
Do your research and be ready to go
Doing the extra legwork before buying is more important than ever. With vehicles in short supply, buyers need to have everything in place once they’re ready to buy.
Get a pre-approved car loan
Buyers should have their finances in order the moment they find a car to buy. Before you even start visiting dealerships, you should have your pre-approved car loan in hand.
Trading in a car has always helped lower the price tag on a new vehicle. Now, more than ever, it’s worth spending a little more money upfront to get the best value later. Make sure your used car is clean and pristine when you go to trade it in. The fewer stains, scratches, dents and rips, the better.
Consumers may need to cast a wider net. You have to be willing to make a few sacrifices or go the extra mile for the car you need.
This includes expanding the area of your search—look in other cities. Certain features might not be available right now, so buyers will either have to wait or do without. If you want a Barbie Jeep Wrangler in the newest pink color, you’d better put in your order now.
You might also consider different brands than you normally buy. For instance, if you’ve always bought a Ford F-150, you might find a better deal on a Ram 1500 or Nissan Titan.
Buy a used car
Even though the used car market is also seeing increased price tags, buying used is still the more budget-friendly decision. Consumers might consider buying from a private party or getting a certified pre-owned car, which shares many of the same benefits as a new car without the worry of buying from a private seller.
Even during this crazy market, you can still find some of the best deals at Bryant Motors. We’re one of the oldest and most trusted dealers in the midwest. Our selection of new and used cars and trucks is tough to beat. So if you live in Sedalia, Boonville, Clinton, Jefferson City, Marshall, Warrensburg and Central Missouri, stop by our dealership to test drive the best Chryslers, Dodges, Jeeps and more.