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What the current high demand in used cars means for trade-ins and buyers

Shelor Motor Mile, Better Business Bureau share tips for used car shoppers

Local dealerships say they are far from running low on inventory

Record high new car prices and computer chip shortages in new cars have people turning to used cars.

Nationally, the demand for used cars is now hiking up the price. The average price of a used car increased by 12.5% between this year and 2020, according to Automobile Dealers Association — but not at dealerships like Shelor Motor Mile in Christiansburg.

The dealership is also far from running low on used car inventory. William Crosscup, the used car inventory manager, said they have the largest amount of used cars he’s seen since starting at the dealership.

Crosscup said they are seeing a spike in interest, but staff members watch the market closely. They first started seeing changes a few months ago and to meet incoming demands, they are diligently trading vehicles and going to online auctions.

If you’re thinking about trading in your vehicle, here’s his advice.

“The used car demand is high, but the great news is that means the demand for their trade is also high. So for anybody that is interested in getting a vehicle, there’s never going to be a better time. Their car is never going to be worth more than what it is today,” said Crosscup.

With more people keeping an eye out for used cars now more than ever, the Better Business Bureau warns buyers to do their research, whether you buy your car online or in-person.

Research means test-driving and doing your drive somewhere you can go uphill, downhill and straight so you can hear how it sounds and brakes.

The vehicle may look nice on the outside, but the mechanics of the car may be an issue. The BBB recommends checking out multiple websites that put evaluations on vehicles.

Another tip, get the vehicle checked out by a mechanic you trust.

It’s a major purchase, so BBB Serving Western VA president Julie Wheeler suggests not to get too blinded by the excitement of getting a car that you forget to do your homework.

“Used car complaints are in our top 10 of complained about businesses year in and year out. And most of those complaints typically are about purchasing the car as is that then does not operate properly,” said Wheeler.

It’s law that a seller has a buyer’s guide on a used car to tell you whether there’s a warranty or not. If they don’t, that’s a red flag. For additional tips, click here.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.