Used car sales are soaring, making it a great time to consider selling

The 2021 Ford Super Duty will see a production cutback at the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville because of the semiconductor shortage.(James Lipman/Ford/TNS)
The 2021 Ford Super Duty will see a production cutback at the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville because of the semiconductor shortage.(James Lipman/Ford/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

The thinning supply of new cars has made the demand for used cars skyrocket.

“Lightly used vehicles, those that are a couple of years old with low mileage, are now selling for 75% to 80% of their original sticker price."

- Ivan Drury, auto industry analyst

Amid an economic revival, a computer chip shortage and other supply chain delays disrupting new car production, the supply of new cars is likely to get even tighter during the next few months.

That diminished supply has, in turn, driven up used car prices, making now a great time to consider selling.

Ivan Drury, an auto industry analyst with Edmunds.com, told CNN, “Lightly used vehicles, those that are a couple of years old with low mileage, are now selling for 75% to 80% of their original sticker price. As recently as 2019, a more normal year, those cars would have been going for 65% to 70% of their original price.”

Nationally, tens of millions of used cars are sold each year. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Nationally, tens of millions of used cars are sold each year. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

There are many websites, such as Manheim, that offer a value appraisal of your vehicle and even firm offers to buy it. But experts say that alone may still not get you the best price.

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“Just like their customers, car dealers have different needs and wants depending on where they are and the types of customers they serve, so it’s good to check with individual dealers in your area,” Matt Jones, director of industry education at TrueCar, told CNN.

For instance, a Chevy dealership in the South will likely see a bigger demand for trucks, so that dealer will have more incentive to buy your nicely used truck. A Kia dealer might be willing to buy it, too, but it probably won’t pay as much.

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“Even if you’re not seriously thinking of selling your car right now,” said Drury, “it’s a good idea to go online regularly and stay abreast of, generally, what your car is worth. Car prices aren’t expected to return to normal very soon. As you’re looking, keep in mind what that car is costing you to maintain and insure.”

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