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'Hot' car market will likely continue through the end of the year, experts say

Rental cars
Posted at 5:48 PM, Jun 10, 2021

Experts predict the "hot" car market will stay its course through the end of the year, as the industry combats shortages and supply chain problems.

“We’ve never seen prices this high before on used car retail prices,” said Emilie Voss, director of public relations for CARFAX.

“A lot of us think of the CARFAX history report when we think of CARFAX; when you can get information on any vehicle and its history, whether it has an accident or service maintenance issues.” This means, Voss says, they have a lot of data. More than 25 billion records to be exact. And all that information is pointing toward some historic trends.

“We are seeing a severe lack of used car inventory nationwide right now; it's going on all around the country. We’re seeing increased consumer demand, it’s at incredibly high levels, and we’re seeing a short supply.”

Overall, Voss says, prices for cars are up 25% from last year, and trucks are up 44%. Even trade-ins are up by about 20%.

It's a catch-22 if you're looking at buying or selling.

“You will make a lot of money if you’re selling but you’re going to be spending that money if you have to buy another vehicle at the same time.”

We asked Carla Bailo, President and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research whether the auto industry is experiencing the same low inventories and high prices that we're seeing in the housing market.

Bailo said "it’s all supply and demand. We see companies like Toyota only has an 8 day supply, we’ve never seen this in our history.”

The nonprofit supports the automotive industry through research. She says the new car supply affects the used car supply.

“It's all about electrification and now, as a result, some of the supply chain issues are starting to arise.”

So, what does the future of the auto industry look like?

No one has a crystal ball, but experts suggest we give it time.

“What I’m telling everyone to do is, yes, wait. If your car is still drivable, wait.”

If you find yourself stuck and in need, know that, like housing, it's an extremely competitive market.

Voss says, “don’t let the pressure get to you and skip steps, you should still do your due diligence.”

This means, she says, if you're after a used car, do those inspections, check the history, and do a test drive to avoid a surprise down the road.