Used cars at high demand: Local experts advise who should sell

Local News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Used car prices have gone up recently, amid low inventory and very high demand. However, experts say it’s not the best time to trade in your used car for a new one.

According to the president of Virginia Select Auto, Bruce Strickland, “It’s a great time to sell. It’s a hard time to replace. That’s probably the best way to put it.”

Strickland buys and sells used cars. He tells WFXR News that usually his lot is packed with almost 250 used cars but over the past 45 days, it’s gone down to about 80.

“The average dealer probably had a 50 day supply of inventory. Right now, nationally, you’re probably looking at a 40 probably 35 day supply of inventory,” Strickland said. “That’s a drastic difference… Drastic.”

Economist Gerald Prante from the University of Lynchburg says that now would be a great time to sell your car, but because the market price is higher, you could be paying more for a newer car at the same time.

“Some of it is pent-up demand that didn’t happen in 2020. People wanted a new car in 2020 but they held off and now they want one in 2021. More people are returning to the office now. COVID is kind of on its downside, so people are going to be going into the office and driving more,” said Prante. “And also, people are going to be driving instead of taking public transit. People are afraid of COVID or what they’re going to catch on public transit.”

Prante says there was a 10% increase in the price of used cars and trucks in April, which is one of the largest on record.

In addition, the recent microchip shortage is causing a limited supply of newer cars, which is why you might see higher prices and vehicles being sold closer to the sticker prices.

“My guess is, by the end of the year, probably within the next few months, you’re going to start to see production start to ramp back up in car production — automobile production,” Prante added.

He also says SUVs and trucks are in higher demand right now.

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