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“We’re not making money on these cars”: Dealerships face inventory shortages as used car prices continue to rise

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 8:14 AM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Used car prices in November have increased by nearly 30% in Florida, up by nearly 30% compared to the previous year, according to an iSeeCars report. The rise in used car prices also brings a shortage of inventory for many dealerships, including Tomlinson Motor Company.

Buyer and customer relations manager JD Tomlinson said his lot usually sits just over 200 hundred cars. Now buyers have around 80 cars to chose from.

“You can only sell so many cars with 40 percent inventory,” said Tomlinson. “It’s just total chaos and that’s the only way to describe it.”

He said he simply cant keep up with inventory, as a microchip shortage continues to impact the new car market. They’re competing with both new car dealerships and rental companies to buy up these used cars.

“Basically any car I can buy at a break even I’m doing so. We’re not making money on these cars we’re just trying to have something available to our customers until we can get through this,” Tomlinson added.

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As more new cars start to trickle into the market, he hopes prices and inventory will start to normalize towards the end of the year.

“What I have been hearing is they’re starting to get new cars and these rental companies have just been buying every used car for months now so they’re getting there bellies full almost with these used cars and they’re gonna start getting their new cars,” said Tomlinson. “They’re going to pull back and that’s going to change everything.”

The vehicles with the highest price increases are mainly economy cars, while cars with the smallest price bumps are mainly luxury cars.

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