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How to Navigate the Competitive Used Car Market in 2022

It is now 2022 and while the auto industry hoped to recover from the effects of the pandemic by now, it  hasn’t happened. Supplies of auto parts, including micro-chips, are not arriving fast enough; hence, the supply of new cars are about 64 percent less than the same time last year. Buyers should expect to pay full sticker price or higher for a new car. Used car prices have skyrocketed, too, with some used cars costing more than their original price tag.

According to Cox Automotive Auto Available Inventory data released Dec. 17, the average listing price for a used car has reached an all-time high of over $27,000. SUVs, pickup trucks, and minivans, which are in high demand, cost even more.

It is a supply and demand issue. Auto experts say if you do not need a car now, you should wait until supply catches up and prices come down to more affordable levels.

If you really need to purchase a used vehicle, here are some pointers to help you shop in today’s competitive used car market:


Widen your reach. When searching for a car online or in-person, be willing to venture farther to get a car.

Shop around for financing and get pre-approved. Check with your bank and credit unions for the best car loan. Getting pre-approved for a car loan will move the process along quicker and you will be in a better position when you negotiate if you have an idea of the terms you qualify for elsewhere.

Be Creative When Negotiating. Due to their high demand, dealers may not be interested in negotiating the price of a used car; instead, ask them for factory discounts, a limited vehicle warranty for three months or 6,000 miles, several months of free service for oil changes and car washes.


Be Flexible. If you really need a car and the car meets your most important criteria and is close enough to what you want, you may need to settle for that make, model or color for the time being.

Trade in your current car and lease. According to J.D. Power, the average trade-in value for November 2021 trended towards $9,549, up 83 percent from a year ago. Dealerships may be willing to buy your used car without requiring you to purchase a car from them. In the meantime, consider leasing. The cost of leasing a car has risen, but your payments will still be lower than if you were to purchase the same vehicle.

Act fast. Get your ducks in order – your pre-approved car loan, including vehicle insurance information, your budget limit, so you can make a quick decision. Don’t wait, because most used vehicles are sold nearly as soon as they arrive at a dealership.

When in the market for a used car, stop by Carousel Preowned. CarouselPreowned serving Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, North Liberty, Marion, and Coralville, IA, is proud to be an automotive leader in our community. We do our best to ensure your complete satisfaction every time you step into our car dealership. This is why we offer the widest selection of used and pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs and provide true ease of purchase in Iowa.

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