January 30, 2023

New, used car prices rise as manufacturers struggle with demand

WEYMOUTH — At Fred Means’ used car dealership in Weymouth, there’s a problem: there are not enough used cars.

“It’s hard to buy cars,” he said. “I was only able to buy one at the auction today and it’s crazy, because usually there’s good inventory. I probably have six to seven cars on the lot, that’s it.”

His lot should have more than double that – 20 cars – on a normal day.

The same number of resellers are competing for fewer cars at the auctions where dealers buy inventory, driving up prices to the dealers and in turn, the consumers. Means sells cars in good condition that often have high mileage, his niche.

More:It’s harder to buy a vehicle for less than $10,000 as prices of new and used cars jump

“Those are the hardest cars to buy, because it’s what other dealers want,” he said.

Used car dealer Kevin Clark, owner of Clark Auto Sales on Water Street in  East Weymouth.

The heart of the problem is a decrease in the supply of new cars, a confluence of pandemic shutdowns and the loss of microchip supply for car manufacturers. Fewer new cars push buyers into the used market, which pushes up prices on both.

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