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The demand for used cars has skyrocketed and so have the prices.

Tom Patterson, the Sales and Marketing Associate at Paya’s North in Colchester said they see people looking for used cars every day.

“Used car sales are kind of difficult right now just because there is such a shortage in inventory, but the prices of the available vehicles have gone up,” Patterson said.

Patterson said over the last few months the values for used cars have gone up between $3,000 and $6,000. Right now they only have 50 cars in both locations.

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“Typically we usually have double that,” Patterson said.

He believes there are multiple factors contributing to the inventory shortage.

“All aspects of purchasing those vehicles and getting them up here and what have you is just more expensive than it usually is,” Patterson said.

The dealership has seen many families come in for cars with more space.

“We have been selling a lot of vans and mid-sized to large SUVs,” Patterson said.

They’re not alone. Carter’s Cars in South Burlington is experiencing the same shortages.

“The new car dealers are getting a fraction of what they would normally get for their inventory so there are less trade-ins available,” Kevin Munroe, general manager of Carter’s Cars said.

Munroe said the pandemic caused a chip shortage in the new car manufacturers because plants were closed.

“It’s having a trickle down effect on the used car market driving the prices way up,” Munroe said.

Typically they have 120 pre owned vehicles on the lot at once.  “And we are having a hard time keeping about 70,” Munroe said.

A replica of the Vietnam Memorial on display in the North Country

Munroe said there is a huge demand for inexpensive vehicles.

“Vehicles that are $15,000 mostly for families, college kids, people commuting to and from work,” Munroe said.