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Car buyers needing more time with record-high used car prices

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 19:57:07-05

The average price for a used car has reached a record high over $28,000.

"Everyone’s high, the prices on these used cars are really high," said Michael Favata, who has been looking for a used car for a month.

“I looked everywhere in Corpus and I couldn’t find a place," said Favata. "And I came here and I had no problem. I found what I needed, a really good work truck...They’re just too high. I walked in, spoke to several people and they wouldn’t want to go down on prices.”

It’s the continuing issue caused by the pandemic; not enough new cars on the market and lack of semiconductor chips to build the new cars.

But for Favata, he found some luck at Route 66 Auto Sales on Kostoryz Road. So much luck, he bought two used vehicles.

He found the place at a good time, with the owner saying that getting cars to the lot has been troublesome.

"'I saw your post weeks ago and you had a more reasonable price, what happened?'" said owner David Montero as he recalled what customers would ask him. "Well it’s just that the market. We won’t be able to get more vehicles for the same price. So it’s not us, it’s the market," is his reply.

The skyrocketing prices are not just biting consumers but dealerships as well. Montero said there’s not enough cars and they are too pricey here. He has to go out of town to find cars for his lot.

He said the Corpus Christi Auto Auction used to sell 300 cars a week, lately they’ve only been selling half of that.

"Every week we try to get vehicles out of the auction, they go up in prices," he said. "So, it's been very difficult lately to satisfy the market and be able to sell them at a good reasonable price. Because once we sell that vehicle for a cheap price, then we have to look for more vehicles but they're usually going up everywhere."

Montero did say his dealership is known for working with the customers on prices, but it's all based on the market.

"Vehicles that were selling for $8,000 a few weeks or months ago, now they’re selling for 12 or $13,000," he said.

Montero believes because the lack of new cars, bigger dealerships are chasing more used cars. Montero said he knows there's a wait list at some dealerships for the purchase of new cars.

Favata’s advice, patience.

“Take your time when you’re looking for a used vehicle and make sure the price is right," said Favata. "They don’t jack up their prices on you and you’re paying 1,000, 2, $3,000 more in a vehicle and it shouldn’t be that.”

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