Car Buying Tips for 2022: How to Weather the Storm

2021 was an unusual year for the auto industry, to say the least. While customer demand for new cars rebounded from the economic uncertainty of 2020, automakers found themselves unable to meet that demand due to semiconductor chip shortages and supply chain issues. So what should car buyers expect in 2022? Much of the same, unfortunately.

“Competition for new vehicles will be fierce as inventory shortages persist in 2022,” said Ivan Drury, Edmunds senior manager of insights.

Buyers today must contend with a limited selection, dealer markups, little to no discounts, and a heightened sense of urgency to move quickly on a deal. With that in mind, here are five ways car buying has changed, along with tips on how to manage it.

Continued Vehicle Shortage Means Higher Prices

The vehicles that arrive on the lot are more likely to be more expensive models and have a higher price tag or be packed with numerous dealer-installed accessories that achieve the same effect. You’ll also find that dealers are much less likely to drop the price since they know there aren’t many other options available. It’s a textbook case of supply and demand.

These days, paying MSRP might actually be a “good deal,” relatively speaking. Experts predict that the chip shortage will last well into 2022 and possibly into 2023.

Advice: If you need a car, we recommend that you spread your net further as this will increase your options and not all dealerships are branding their vehicles. If you see one you like, be prepared to move quickly; it may not be there next time.

You are more likely to order your next car

One way to avoid dealer surcharges and add-ons is to order the vehicle. According to a recent Edmunds survey, more than half of consumers said they would be willing to place an order for their next vehicle. This ensures you get exactly the color and options you want, as long as you’re willing to wait six to eight weeks.

The basic idea is that ordering a vehicle saves the dealer money on lot fees and insurance. Those savings can then be passed on to the consumer. Unfortunately, “savings” these days might just mean paying MSRP and not paying for dealer add-ons.

Advice: The easiest way to order a vehicle is to use an automaker’s website to create the vehicle configuration you want, and then submit that information to your preferred dealer.

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