Here’s an unexpected consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic: used car sales are on the rise. In a bid to avoid public transport out of fears of transmitting or contracting COVID, there’s been an increase in individuals looking to quickly purchase an extra used car, and this has made them a hot-ticket item, according to The New York Times:
“Across the country, the prices of used cars have shot up. The increase defies the conventional wisdom that cars are depreciating assets that lose a big chunk of their value the moment they leave the dealership. In July alone, the average value of used cars jumped more than 16 percent.”
This trend won’t be forever, of course, but it’s still an interesting one to get a handle on. What ripple effects has the used car surge caused, for instance, and what should you keep in mind if you’re thinking of getting in on the action and getting your own used car?
A Market In Flux
The initial effect of the used car surge is one that most anyone could have seen coming. The average price of a used car has shot up some 45%, putting that number at over $25,000 for the first time ever. It’s not just the average price of a used car or the demand for used cars going up, however. Because people are investing in older vehicles, they are also having to consider cleaning and maintenance more than they would with a newer vehicle.
Mechanics, service centers, car washes—these businesses have also seen some boosts on account of the pandemic, and this comes after they were on a bit of a decline because of how efficient newer cars have become. According to information from IBISWorld:
“This is because used cars require more frequent maintenance. Following a decline between 2016 and 2021, the U.S. auto body industry’s revenue is set to increase at a 2.9% rate annually by 2026.”
And the numbers being reported by various maintenance brands is showing this upward trend to be a powerful one. Take these numbers, for instance:
“During the second quarter of 2021, Driven Brands — the parent company of Take 5 Oil Change and Meineke Car Care Centers — reported a revenue of $374.8 million, a 123% year-over-year increase.”
And all this fluctuation has come with new measures to help curtail the spread of COVID, so it seems like businesses are trying to capitalize on the increased demand as best they can and encourage all those used car owners to become repeat maintenance customers.
Things To Keep In Mind When Buying A Used Car
So, what should you do if you want to get a used car for yourself? One important bit of advice, according to top San Francisco lemon law attorney Conn Law, is to do your research on the makes and models you’re interested in to avoid dropping a bunch of money on a dud.
Beyond that, you should follow the normal car buying protocol, with just a few extra measures thrown in to make sure you get the best deal on that used vehicle: watch your budget, get the vehicle history, and be sure to do a test drive before you buy!