An ongoing car shortage is bad news for auto buyers looking to save some cash by opting for a used set of wheels.
The average used car now costs more than $27,500, according to Black Book. That is up more than one-third from January 2021, a whopping increase over the course of just one year.
“It appears to be a classic tale of supply and demand,” The Drive’s Lewin Day reports. “There simply aren't as many used cars on sale, with Black Book pegging listing numbers as down by around 16 percent compared to earlier this year.”
New cars are also in short supply, thanks to the ongoing chip shortage and supply chain issues that have raised prices on a wide variety of consumer goods. That, in turn, has spiked demand for used vehicles and caused price tags on previously owned cars to skyrocket.
Kelley Blue Book reports that used car inventory was 15% lower in December than in the same month a year earlier.
“Used cars priced under $10,000 remain in the shortest supply,” KBB said. “Those priced over $25,000 are most plentiful.”
Used Car Buyers Beware: Defects and Safety Risks
In addition to soaring price tags, used car shoppers should also be aware of the risks of potential defects. Carmakers recall millions of vehicles around the globe each year, citing a wide range of malfunctions and defects that put drivers, passengers and anyone else on the road in danger.
At least 40% of used cars being offered for sale are covered by at least one open recall that has not been addressed, according to the non-profit organization Consumers’ Checkbook and the Consumer Federation of America.
Fortunately, some car owners and lessors in California have significant rights and protections under the state’s lemon law.
The Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act forces car manufacturers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. The state law also requires manufacturers to buy back covered cars that they are unable or not willing to fix. That includes compensating the owner for the down payment, monthly payments and other related expenses.
The law allows a car manufacturer to instead offer to replace the vehicle, but only if the owner or lessor is willing to accept this alternative arrangement. Because there are no set number of repair requests or attempts that must be made before the buyback (or replace) requirement kicks in, it is important to consult an experienced California lemon law attorney.
Speak with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help. We have a strong track record of success fighting for people and families across the state.