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Buy a smart car – VirginiaLiving.com

Buy a smart car - VirginiaLiving.com

Tips for car shopping when the supply chain is under pressure.

Make, model, mileage. Leather seats or sunroof? There is a lot to consider when buying a car. Now add microchips to the list. It turns out that a global scarcity of chips is causing a car shortage. And unfortunately, these problems aren’t going to end anytime soon, experts at Consumer Reports and Edmunds say. If possible, wait before buying a car. But if you need new wheels now, follow these car buying tips:

To be flexible. Finding a car that ticks all your boxes may not be realistic right now. Instead, determine which features matter most, be it price, mileage, number of passengers or towing capacity, then check whether different makes and models can do the job.

Shop. Instead of just checking stock at local dealers, cast a wider net. A dealer further away may have ‘your’ car in stock or have a better price.

Expect higher prices. When supply is low and demand is high, dealers are not inspired to negotiate. According to the experts at Edmunds, “Nowadays, paying MSRP can be a relatively ‘good deal’.” Consumer Reports notes that “large pickup trucks and SUVs have seen the biggest increase, while smaller cars, sedans, hatchbacks and front-wheel drive SUVs have seen smaller price increases.”

Also expect higher prices for used cars. Some experts say the average price of used cars will soon exceed $30,000, a first in this category.

Be prepared to buy now. Cars don’t last long on lots, so when you find ‘the one’ you need to act fast. Go ahead and arrange financing and get a quote for your trade-in, so when the right car comes along, you’ll be ready to move with it.

But expect to wait. The best way to get exactly what you want: order it from the dealer. While the delivery time can take up to 12 weeks or more, if you have your heart set on a particular hybrid or truck in your favorite color, your patience will be worth it.

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