No. You're not seeing things, used car prices are going through the roof
With summer just around the corner used car prices are quiet literally out of this world, up 10% in just a month
Yes, you. The craigslist-scouring car addict. Have you been struggling to find an NA Miata for cheap? Or perhaps are you're a wealthier fellow, and you can't quite understand why that E30 M3 you've always wanted now costs $250,000? Well, you're not alone!
Used car prices, especially amongst enthusiasts, have truly taken off even though when Covid first hit, many expected a tumulus economic fallout. But after an initial slump in March 2020, everything from meme-stocks to vintage Shelby Cobras has seen massive spikes in sale prices.
BMW Group Classic
But why is it that amid the worst health crisis this country has seen in over a century, with unemployment at over 6% that people now, more than ever, are buying cars?
Well, the first answer to this question is somewhat more straightforward. Put simply, people with money, stuck at home, are bored. Most years, some might spend tens of thousands on vacation or eating out, but during lockdown, that money has nowhere to go.
This opened a vacuum filled by sites such as Cars and Bids, Bring a Trailer, and so on—giving people that hit of consumerism they needed, all from their couch.
And unlike a vacation, cars remain a relatively covid-safe activity. You can still go for a drive with your friends without fear of getting infected.
More recently, though, the global microchip shortage means an extreme lack of new vehicles getting out to customers. This, coupled with the halt of new-car production in early 2020, has driven many would-be new car buyers to the used market. Vastly inflating prices. With April being the "largest one-month increase [in used vehicle prices] since the series began in 1953," according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.