Car prices in the Carolinas soar to record-high levels

Consumer Watch

(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A car shortage across the United States means prices for new and used cars are sky-rocketing.

“When you go to rent a car, it is very difficult, it is just a big car shortage,” the owner of Unity Auto Sales in Charlotte Travell Thompson said. “Even when you are buying 2004s, 2006s, the prices are elevated right now.”

Thompson said he gets the majority of his inventory at auctions and major car retailers.  

“Not able to get as many and then when you purchase, the price is elevated and that goes back to the consumer, they have to bear the brunt of that,” Thompson said.

“Inventory remains to be a top concern for dealers across the country,” Manager of Economic and Industry Insights for Cox Automotive Zo Rahim said.

He said the U.S. is experiencing strong demand for both used and new cars, but the supply chain is not able to keep up.

“Production challenges driven by chip shortages and other supply chain issues are leading to new vehicle production and inventory to be low,” Rahim said.

Low supply means bigger buy-outs for those will to sell, but increasing price tags for car buyers.

Manheim, America’s largest used-car auction operation said the U.S. has seen four straight months of record increases.

“They are paying more for transportation period. And the transportation industry as a whole is up,” Thompson said.

Industry experts expect production to ramp up through the summer and level off by this Fall.

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