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Car shortages to continue into 2023: What are your options?

Car shortages to continue into 2023: What are your options?

Global supply chain issues for microprocessor units are expected to continue through to next year, further delaying the arrival of new cars and consequently driving up the prices of used cars.

If you’re in the market for a new set of wheels, chances are you’re aware of the extended wait time on many new vehicles, caused largely by the global chip shortage that began in 2020.

Many new car models currently have average wait times of six months, while some popular models, including the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, have average wait times of 12 months.

In addition, the recent swelling of petrol prices has led an increased number of Australian drivers to consider buying an electric vehicle (EV), putting pressure on already limited EV stock.

This week, Lloyds Auctions revealed it is now auctioning second hand EVs for higher prices than their original retail price.

In response, Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said: “People are realising how much they can save in fuel per year by owning an electric vehicle.”

"This is a stunning reflection of how the Australian Government has allowed demand to totally outstrip supply on EVs, leaving Australian consumers with the choice between a massive wait or paying above-retail for a used car," he said.

So, what options do you have?

It’s still possible to get your hands on a new set of wheels, but you’ll need to decide what will work best for your circumstances and budget. Here are some options that may be worth considering:

1. Buy a used car

Gone are the days (at least, for now) when new cars were said to depreciate in value as soon as you drive them off the lot. Some used cars are now selling for the same as their purchase price, and in some cases even more.

While it might not be ideal to spend the same on a used car as you would on a new one, if you don’t have the time to wait up to 12 months for a new vehicle, this may be an option worth considering.

Doing your research and shopping around could help you find what you’re looking for at a fair price point, particularly if you’re willing to travel to collect it. Used cars located in major cities may have a higher price tag for convenience. So, consider checking the listings in more regional areas to see if you can find a better deal.

2. Sign up to a car share network

If it suits your lifestyle, you could consider signing up to a car share network such as GoGet, instead of buying a car of your own. Car share networks offer different pricing plans to suit a range of drivers’ needs, with conveniently placed pickup locations.

This could be a particularly handy option if you live in or near a CBD, and don’t have the need for regular access to a vehicle.

3. Secure a new vehicle and play the waiting game

If you’ve got your heart set on a brand-new vehicle and have the time to wait for its arrival, you could bite the bullet and order your new car now. With the microprocessor shortage not looking to improve any time soon, you may want to act soon before the waitlist grows even longer.

You never know, the car model you’re after might not have as long a wait time as you expect. And if need be, you could even consider signing up to a car share network while you wait.

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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