Is Now the Right Time to Buy a Used Car?

Used Car Prices

Are you trying to decide if now is the right time to buy your next used car? Unfortunately, you may want to wait a little longer. The production of new cars has slowed down or even paused entirely in some cases, due to a shortage in microchips needed to make cars. Due to this shortage of new cars, the demand for used cars has soared – causing used car prices to skyrocket and inventory to plummet. This leaves car buyers left searching for good deals on reliable used cars that are nearly impossible to find. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding if it’s the right time to buy a used car:

What Are Used Car Prices Right Now? 

The average used car listing price as of July 2021 is above $25,000. This is a record high number in the used car market, being 26% higher than it was one year ago, even for older used cars. Edmunds, an online resource for automotive inventory and information, found that a five-year-old car costs over $24,000 right now, compared to $18,000 just a year ago. Even though prices seem to have reached their peak, car buyers won’t be finding inexpensive used cars for quite some time. 

How Long Will Used Car Prices Be Up? 

Thankfully, car prices are not expected to stay this high forever. Auto experts predict that the shortage will worsen throughout summer, and then the supply is expected to slowly pick back up afterwards. Recent data from Cox Automotive found that wholesale used car prices are consistently decreasing

That being said, there is no way to know exactly when prices will improve. If you keep an eye on used car prices over the next few months, you will hopefully see a gradual decline in prices, or at least find a good deal here and there. However, the normal prices in the used car market that you were used to a year ago may not come back until mid 2022 or even 2023. 

Don’t Give Up On Your Used Car Search Just Yet 

If you cannot wait any longer to buy a car but don’t want to face the high prices, there may be another option. Senior director of accounts at PureCars, Lauren Donaldson, said “the silver lining for consumers is that even though prices are higher, your trade-in will never be worth more than it is today, and that may put you in a better position to purchase a newer car.” 

Right now is a better time than ever to trade-in or sell a used car. Dealers are having trouble finding used cars to sell, which has caused them to bid against one another to get any quality used cars they can find. Not only will this land you multiple offers on your used car, but it will also help take some of the stress out of having to spend a lot on your next car.  

For those of you who do not have a car to trade or sell and are desperate to get a car this summer, be prepared to search high and low for the best deal. Increasing the distance you’re willing to search, being ready to act quickly, and being flexible on lower-priority “wants” are just some of the ways to get the best deal in today’s overpriced used car market. 

Get a SureSale 

When the time comes that you do find a good deal on a used car, you will want to be sure it is worth every penny. With a SureSale vehicle quality report, you’ll have access to vehicle history, a multi-point inspection, and vehicle specific facts.