ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Shopping for a car, whether new or used, can be a big source of anxiety these days. Higher prices and limited availability have some people struggling to secure reliable, affordable transportation.
Used car prices are up 29.58% from last year, according to Car Gurus used car price trends. With an average price of $30,735, the cost of buying a used car rivals that of new ones. The average price of buying a used car on April 2, 2020, was $20,967, a difference of over $10,000 from prices this April.
Vans are up 50.72% this year from 2021, the most of all models. Hatchbacks and minivans are up the second and third-most, 39.04% and 38.79% respectively.
The top three makers whose used cars are up the most are Pontiac (48.70%), Kia (45.17%), and Hyundai (40.69%). The average price of used cars for these three makes is lower than the average. The price for a used Pontiac averages $13,256, the lowest of all three. The average price of a used Hyundai is $20,717 and the price of a used Kia is the highest of all three at $22,326.
A transportation economics professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, George Hoffer, said it’s not a good time to buy new or used vehicles. A similar car market existed in the 1940s. With no vehicle production between 1942 and 1945, Americans paid premium prices for whatever was being built post-war. The market didn’t return to normal until 1949, Hoffer explained.
Why are prices for both new and used cars up? COVID-19, the subsequent chip shortage, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are all contributing to car market prices, according to Car and Driver. They said industry analysts think it will be 2024 before the market stabilizes.
What about people that have to buy a car? Having a large inventory of used cars in one place for comparison may help. Used car dealership, CarMax has three locations in New York, including one on Central Avenue in Albany. The company boasted revenues 48.8% higher in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, according to its most recent financial report.
“We believe many new car shoppers have been turning to the used car market where there is much greater inventory available for immediate delivery,” the company said Friday. “At CarMax we are working hard to support customers with fair pricing and tools to help them find the vehicle they want that also meets their budget.”
NerdWallet said CarMax was the “best for used-car shoppers wanting to purchase from a large inventory and finance a car online,” in its 2022 review of the company. CarMax allows shoppers to view inventory online which can then be delivered or picked up at any location, further increasing the odds of finding a make/model of choice within budget.