The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way Americans live, work, and do business. In many areas, restaurants and other businesses are shut down or restricted. We have gotten used to wearing masks everywhere we go and keeping our distance from others in public. But how has the pandemic affected the used car business? Are used car prices going up or down? And can we expect that trend to continue in the future? Read on to find out how the pandemic has impacted the used car buying experience.
An Increase in Online Car Buying
Since many dealerships were shut down at the beginning of the pandemic, dealers had to find new ways to sell their vehicles. Many dealerships already had an online presence, but the inability to operate their businesses in the usual way led to an increase in services available online. Dealerships added more photos and some even found ways for prospective customers to listen to the vehicle’s engine online.
Some of the larger online car sites offer to ship cars across state lines, which increases consumers’ options for buying used cars. They no longer have to limit themselves to cars available from local dealerships.
But Sometimes Local Is Better
On the other hand, large online car dealers have invested large amounts of money in the software that runs their sites and may need to charge higher fees as a result. And although it is convenient to be able to order a used car from another state, that service does not come free—or if it does, the cost of delivery is made up some other way, perhaps by charging a higher price to begin with.
How the Pandemic Has Affected the Used Car Market
Because of the pandemic, people are being a lot more cautious with their money. The economy is uncertain. No one really knows whether their jobs are secure in a COVID-19 world. As a result, people are hesitant to buy new cars. However, transportation is a necessity of life, and mass transport is a bad idea in the middle of a pandemic. The demand for used cars has skyrocketed as people try to save money by buying used instead of new.
Used car prices are going up as the demand rises, which makes it more important than ever to shop around if you are in the market for a used car. That means checking with local used car dealerships as well as checking prices online. It also means being realistic about prices. While there are still good deals to be found, it is likely that you will pay a higher price than you would have paid a year ago for the same car.
The Future of Used Car Prices
No one knows how much longer the pandemic will disrupt our economy. Now that there is a vaccine, there is hope that all of this will be over soon. However, it is likely that people will be hesitant to buy new cars until the economy has fully stabilized. Used car prices may continue to go up for a time as a result, but eventually, the economy will get back to normal and prices will likely fall back to their pre-pandemic levels.
Are you in the market for a used car? If you live in the Phoenix area, Auto Action has a wide selection of used vehicles to choose from. Check out our inventory to find the perfect vehicle for you and your family.