Looking to buy a used car? Kansas lots empty thanks to rocketing prices and demand


JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (KSNT) – Prices are at a record high as demand for previously-owned vehicles grows.

The demand comes as new car production has slowed due to a shortage of microchips.

“Absolutely every dealership is feeling it,” said Mike Wildeman, used car assistant manager at Donovan Auto in Wichita. “It’s kind of an unknown, we’re still going to be getting new cars. It’s just a slower speed of getting the vehicles in.”

D.E. Lacer is the owner of D.E.L. Motors at 1737 N. Washington St. in Junction City. He said the price of used cars at auction is up by 30%.

“It’s due to a lack of inventory,” Lacer said. “Dealers are keeping their cars longer. Stuff that you would normally send to an auction, they are keeping due to the lack of cars.”

Lacer said it is causing dealers to raise their prices, although there is still competition between dealerships. Although prices are higher, he said trade-ins are also worth more than ever before.

Despite the higher prices, Lacer said sales are up. He said his dealers sold 20 to 30 more cars last month than normal.

With the increase in sales, many dealers are seeing a shortage. Lacer said he has 10 to 15 fewer vehicles on his lot than he would normally.

Lacer said this is partially due to rental car companies. Due to the new car shortage, rental car companies are keeping their fleet of cars longer. These cars would normally be sold at auction and then enter the used car market.

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