Maritimers in the market to buy a used vehicle can expect to find fewer options and higher prices.
Production delays on new vehicles are driving up demand and pricing for pre-owned options said Dwight Perry of Moncton who owns D. Perry Motors.
He says he has been selling used vehicles for 14 years and has never seen the challenges like the ones seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The trouble to get inventory — I have never experienced this before,” said Perry, noting that he has been struggling to access pre-owned inventory from car auctions.
“Normally we would carry 70 or so units for sale and right now we have about 32,” he said.
He says demand for used cars has increased significantly since the coronavirus outbreak began, and a global shortage of semiconductors — a small but computer chip used in some new vehicles — has slowed new car production for months.
Buying a new/used vehicle? Tips on finding the best deals on wheels
Demand for used inventory is soaring on both sides of the border, Perry said.
“There is still a huge demand in the [United States] to get vehicles so they are coming here with their American money, buying with a 25 per cent advantage on the dollar and they are able to pay more for the vehicles than we are,” he said.
Vehicle exports have increased 55 per cent compared to 2020 and 27 per cent compared to 2019, according to Canadian Black Book numbers.
Perry said that is driving up wholesale and retail used car pricing here in Canada too — by as much as 10 per cent.
So be prepared to pay more for a pre-owned vehicle said Don Babineau who manages OK Tire in Moncton.
“If you do find a vehicle that you want you pretty much have to jump on it because if you don’t it is going to disappear,” he said.
But he said don’t jump too quickly, especially if you are buying online.
“You can ask many questions: the mileage and the condition of the vehicle and what kind of maintenance schedule the vehicle had. But, overall the vehicle should be checked by a certified technician so you don’t have any major issues,” he said.
He says even a vehicle purchased from a reputable dealer should be thoroughly inspected by a third party before any money changes hands.
What you need to know before buying a car in a pandemic
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.