Local car dealer GM: Trade in your used car now

NORWOOD, Mass. — Mark Synnott was excited to say goodbye to his old Jeep. Thursday morning, Synnott said he sold his Wrangler to the used-car company Carvana for two or three thousand dollars more than it was worth.

“I got a really good price that I don’t know I would have gotten before this,” Synnott said.

The microchip shortage in new cars is driving up the value of used cars so much that some people can’t resist trading in. New car inventory is down 48% from last year.

Car-sellers need cars to sell, so they’re paying record numbers for pre-owned vehicles.

“A Camry now that may have been worth $15,000 pre-pandemic might be worth $19,000 now,” said Jason Aufiero, general manager at Boch Toyota in Norwood.

Aufiero said, in a typical year, he has 150 new cars on his lot. Right now, he has around 50.

“We don’t have the inventory that we had two or three years ago. It’s getting there,” Aufiero said.

The microchip shortage has hit domestic car manufacturers the hardest, “with the Detroit Three accounting for the top 10 models impacted,” according to AFS data by Automotive News.

Cars.com reports, as of mid-May, Ford, “was the most shell-shocked brand, with 325,000 vehicles lost, including 110,000 units of the popular F-Series pick-up truck,” followed by the Jeep Cherokee (98,584 units), the Chevrolet Equinox (81,833 units), the Chevy Malibu (56,929 units) and the Ford Explorer (46,766 units).

“There’s definitely more of a noticeable shortage of the particular model I’m looking for,” Synnott said.

“It’s really raised the value of someone’s trade,” Aufiero said. “Because there’s a demand for the new car, there’s not a lot of them out there so there’s a demand to put more pre-owned vehicles on the lot.”

Used car prices hit a 68-year high last month. Aufiero had this advice for anybody looking to make a change: “You got a car, trade it in right now, because you can get the most money for it and it’s not going to be that way for the foreseeable future,” he said.