Thursday, 06 May 2021 12:14

Edmunds Experts Offer Tips on Car Shopping During Chip Shortage


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Consumers looking to purchase a new vehicle ahead of the summer road trip season need to be prepared to do more research and be more flexible with their budget to get the car that they want.

According to the car shopping experts at Edmunds, the percentage of consumers who paid above sticker price for a new vehicle climbed to 12.7% in April 2021, compared to 11% in March 2021 and 8.1% in April of 2020. This is the highest level that Edmunds has on record dating back to 2002.


Edmunds analysts say consumers are paying well above list price because of a combination of unique market factors: The global chip shortage is severely constraining the supply of new vehicles, and automakers and dealers are less pressured to discount vehicles since consumer demand remains incredibly high.


According to Edmunds data, new vehicle inventory on sale at dealerships nationwide was down by 48% at the end of April compared to a year ago: Inventory of trucks was down by 64%, SUVs by 44% and passenger cars by 42%.


"New vehicles---particularly new trucks and SUVs---are basically the 2021 equivalent of toilet paper and hand sanitizer a year ago," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights. "Dealers and automakers are making good profits right now since consumers seem to be a bit more accustomed to paying more for goods in the past year, and new vehicles are no exception.


"Demand is staying strong as vaccinations ramp up across the country and Americans look to hit the open road in a new car, but as the chip shortage continues, there soon won't be enough vehicles to meet consumer appetites."


Since car shopping is a bit more tricky in the current market, the experts at Edmunds put together insider tips to help consumers looking to buy a vehicle:


Be prepared to do more research and act quickly once you find what you want.


As vehicles get harder to find, your best bet is to...

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