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Skyrocketing used car prices leave buyers with no choices

Used cars by Alan Powdrill via Getty Images.jpg
Used cars by Alan Powdrill via Getty Images.jpg
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Right now the prices of used cars are skyrocketing well past what many households can afford.

And they aren't likely to decrease any time soon.

We took a look at what's contributing to the problem.

There's dozens of car dealers looking to sell their used cars in the Chattanooga area.

But with a rise in used car prices recently buyers are shocked when they get to the dealership. Now, many who need basic transportation can't afford it.

"I told them what I could afford and they basically said there was nothing in that price range I could get," said Kim Parrot.

Kim Parrot just bought her Mitsubishi Mirage for $14,000 in June. And says it was a lot more than she’s used to paying for a used ride.

"For the car that I got, I would say maybe a year or two ago, it would have been probably about $8,000," said Parrot.

Parrot says she wanted to hold off on buying but she needed transportation. But these high prices aren’t just affecting buyers.

"By the looks of my car lot I've only got six cars and I usually keep fifteen to twenty," said Matt Snowden.

With a shrinking lot and high demand for used cars, car dealer at NU 2 U Cars in Chattanooga Matt Snowden says these days a sale is a sale.

"If somebody comes in, if I can make two or three hundred on one I do it. If I make 1000 I do it. I don't believe I'd I would sell any for a loss right now," said Snowden.

According to in November the average price of a used vehicle in the U.S. was just over $29,000. 39% more than the previous year.

"And they're looking at five to $7,000, those cars don't exist, the price point has gone up significantly 10 to $12,000, for entry level, reliable transportation," said Mark Fraker.

CEO of Chattanooga Federal Employees Credit Union Mark Fraker advises buyers that its important to decide whether your purchase is want or a need.

Because many can’t afford it at the moment.

"What's sad about that is in order to have a job in the Chattanooga market, you've got to have your own transportation to get to and from," said Fraker.

And some advice from Parrot to those looking for a used car right now?

"I would hold off and actually save you some money," said Parrot.

Fraker says there's a possibility prices could drop at the end of the year. But Snowden says he doesn't see these high prices letting up anytime soon.

Since the pandemic started used vehicle prices have jumped 42%, that's more than double the increase for new cars.

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