Coronavirus pandemic fuels used car boom

(NBC News)  If you’re in the market for a car, pre-owned vehicles are currently king.

The coronavirus hit the auto industry hard. As factories shut down new car inventories dried up, leading more buyers to the used market. 

“These are dire straits, I mean people are really looking at what’s out there in the market and for the dealers, they’re going to auctions to buy used cars,” says Edmunds’ Ivan Drury.

The economic downturn sent cash-strapped buyers to more affordable used cars, resulting in dealers seeing used vehicles that sat idle before the pandemic quickly driving off their lots. 

Carvana CEO Ernie Garcia says he’s also noticed the pandemic bringing in buyers nervous about taking trains, buses and subways. 

“They are people who used public transport before and are shifting to owning their own car,” he says.

The trend also means the car you have sitting in your driveway could put extra cash in your wallet.  Experts say trade-in values have shifted into high gear as dealers try to meet demand.

Truck owners are said to be in an especially good position to cash in, with top values going to the Toyota Tacoma, Ford F350 and Jeep Wrangler.

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