If you are in the market for a used vehicle, you have probably experienced a bit of sticker shock. That’s because used car prices have skyrocketed in recent months, in some cases even surpassing the vehicle’s original MSRP. This has undoubtedly turned vehicles into an appreciating asset, something that has previously been unheard of. These record high prices have left consumers feeling annoyed, frustrated, and curious about what is going on. The answer is pretty simple- supply and demand. This basic economic principle, combined with the coronavirus pandemic, has led to record high used car prices. Let’s take a closer look at how we ended up here and what factors have contributed to this rise in price.
The Impact of the Pandemic
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected a number of industries, and the automotive industry is no exception. In early 2020, millions of workers were forced to work from home, which translated to a delay in new car purchases. Fewer new car purchases means consumers are holding on to their old cars and this leads to fewer used cars available for sale. In short, without a healthy market for new car sales, the used car supply dries up and the cost increases due to lack of inventory. Simultaneously, record levels of unemployment and financial anxiety have encouraged more people to buy used cars instead of new ones, which has led to an even greater demand. Simply put, more and more people are lining up to buy used cars but the supply is low and this drives the prices up.
The Rental Car Crisis
Another reason used car prices have been hit so hard is directly related to rental car companies. Rental car companies were at a near halt last year as a result of the pandemic so many of them sold off most of their cars in order to stay afloat. Now, with the rebound in travel, rental car companies are facing a shortage of cars to rent as demand has soared. They are scrambling to purchase used cars, and are even willing to pay a premium price, to restock their inventory.,
Another factor that is playing into the recent surge in demand for used cars is the fact that many buyers are now starting to make purchases that they put off last year as a result of financial uncertainty during the crisis. Since there are fewer new cars on the market, these buyers are now forced to look into purchasing a used car. These same consumers had planned to spend more to buy a new car, so their budget is now higher for a used car.
Finally, we are facing an unprecedented shipping crisis, with barges unable to unload at their ports. This has led to a devastating shortage of microchips, which are necessary for the electrical components in new cars. As a result, new car manufacturers are forced to slow production, which has left consumers with no choice but to purchase used cars. Again, there is a high demand for used cars and a shortage of supply, which has driven used cars prices to an all-time high.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.
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