Do your research before you start shopping for a new car because the market is still tight

OTTAWA – Buying a new car can be an exciting but stressful exercise at the best of times, but right now, short supplies and soaring used car prices are making it harder than ever to buy a new set of wheels.

OTTAWA – Buying a new car can be an exciting but stressful exercise at the best of times, but right now, short supplies and soaring used car prices are making it harder than ever to buy a new set of wheels.

Plenty of emptying at new car dealerships and the active market for used cars means you need to do your research, be flexible, and prepare before heading out to find your new ride this fall, experts say.

Shari Primack, a senior consultant at Car Help Canada, which helps people buy new cars, said the majority of new vehicles are not readily available and must be ordered at the factory with a waiting period ranging from a few weeks to two years depending on the model.

It recommends buyers looking for a new vehicle to shop and contact several dealers in advance via email for fully detailed quotes.

“This will help them find the most affordable option in their area,” he said.

“Only when they are happy with the price and are convinced it is the best deal in the area should they go and visit the dealer in person.”

Primack said potential buyers should be as patient and flexible as possible.

He said, “If your first choice has a very long waiting period, consider a similar alternative with a shorter waiting time. Be flexible with options, package, and choice of colors.”

“Most dealers will not be able to meet a particular demand. You can think of leasing your second or third option for two to three years as a short-term purchase until the market returns to normal and then you can buy what you really want.”

A recent report from online car market AutoTrader found that used car prices peaked this summer as they fell on a monthly basis for the first time in more than a year in July.

However, Baris Akyurek, AutoTrader’s director of marketing information, said prices for new and used cars are still significantly higher than they were a year ago, and are selling quickly, so it’s important for buyers to do as much research as possible. They are ready to make a decision as soon as they find the vehicle they are looking for.

“The average time on the market for a vehicle has gone down a bit,” he says. “For used cars, it’s down 57 percent. So it was 114 days last year, and now it’s about 55 days.”

For new cars, despite improved production at major automakers, Akyurek expects the increase in supply to be offset by pent-up demand from drivers who have set their hearts on buying a new car rather than a used one.

If you’re looking for the used market, it’s important to do your research and know the vehicle you’re considering, said Shaun Fording, vice president of product and sales for Carfax Canada.

“Make sure you know the car you are buying and know that the date has not been an accident, has it been serviced, and know the current conditionAnd the Are you going to need tires and brakes in the next three months or is this car retrofitted to a like-new situation?”

“If the price doesn’t make sense, there is likely to be a reason why an independent third party should inspect the vehicle.”

Dan Park, CEO of Clutch, which sells cars online, said Canada hasn’t seen the same used-car price volatility that it has in the US, but the shortage of new cars still keeps used-car prices somewhat inflated.

“If you need a car and you can’t wait for it, there’s not much you can do,” he said. “The supply of new cars will gradually return to the Internet over the course of 12 to 18 months, but there is still a shortage of supply.”

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on September 22, 2022.

Craig Wong, The Canadian Press

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