Reduced inventory of new vehicles puts used cars in high demand

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SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — Tasca Ford normally has about 300 cars lined up in one of its lots for people to test drive and purchase.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were nine.

“There’s more people trying to buy than there are vehicles,” general manager Philip Hadfield said.

According to Hadfield, there’s a “tremendous demand” for used cars right now because the market lacks inventory of new ones, which is due in part to a semiconductor chip shortage.

“These [vehicles] have a lot of technology in them today and that little chip controls it all,” Hadfield explained.

This shift in the used car supply and demand has led to price increases.

“The transactional prices of acquiring these vehicles have risen probably by 25-30% more than they were a year ago,” Hadfield said.

On average, Tasca Ford sells about 50 used vehicles a month, which is close to what they currently have in stock, according to Hadfield. He said thinking outside the box is key to creating more inventory.

“Some cars in the past we wouldn’t retail, just because of age and mileage, now we’re keeping more of those vehicles, running them through our service department and selling good-quality vehicles,” Hadfield said.

If you’re in the market for a used vehicle, Hadfield offered this advice:

  • Read reviews. Make sure the seller you choose has a good reputation.
  • Shop around. Check the company’s website to see what’s available.
  • Ask to see documents of the car’s history so you’re not sold something that’s unreliable or dangerous.

“Not only are you putting yourself, but you’re putting other people in jeopardy out on the road as well,” Hadfield added.

Hadfield estimated it could take two to three months for the new car inventory to build back up enough to meet demand.

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