Car troubles: Maritimes see short supply, but high demand

Used cars have become harder to come by in the Maritimes these days– with high demand, but low supply.

"At our location, being in the business for 31 years, the last one to two years have been very trying," says Neil Stanton, the president and owner of Look & Tel Auto in Saint John.

"The supply of vehicles from our normal sources from the auctions in Moncton, Halifax, Montreal – have been diminished."

Stanton says at their location on Rothesay Avenue, inventory is about two thirds of where it normally is this time of year – and getting them in is also coming at a higher cost.

"The prices of used cars at the auction level where we purchase them, are up over 40 per cent than they were a year ago," says Stanton. "So it’s driving the price of vehicles right through the roof."

But it’s not just used cars that are in shorter supply these days – those in the market for a new vehicle are also still having a hard time.

"Car parts, things like computer chips, which almost every new vehicle relies on, were delayed," says John Shmuel, the managing editor for RATESDOTCA. "And that resulted in a decline in availability and an increase in wait times for new vehicles."

A new survey for RATESDOTCA shows that over 40 per cent of Canadians have changed their plans to purchase a vehicle due to the shortage of new ones and the rising prices of used vehicles.

"I mean, we did this survey in April," says Shmuel. "I wouldn’t be surprised if that number is even higher now given that in between that time as I said we saw a big Bank of Canada rate increase."