Shortage of semiconductors has a ripple effect on the new and used auto industry

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — If you’re looking for a car, you might find that there are few new ones, causing used car prices to skyrocket.

There’s more than just an engine inside your vehicle – it’s literally a computer on wheels.

And that creates problems for buyers and sellers.

“We have supply chain issues, especially semiconductors,” said Scot Hall of SwapaLease.

Wireless audio components, along with the engine management system, HVAC system, and your anti-lock brakes are just a few of the features that rely on computer chips.

Currently, these semiconductors are in short supply, forcing automakers around the world to cut production.

“When there are fewer new cars available, the demand is still there for cars in general, so people start looking at used vehicles,” says Hall.

This has driven up used car prices – which is good news if you’re a seller and bad news if you’re a buyer.

“Right now is a great time to sell a used car,” Hall said. “The caveat I would give to consumers is that you are going to have to replace it and that could be difficult.”

The shortage also means you may have to make concessions if you want to buy a new car right off the assembly line.

“If someone can put off buying that new vehicle for a few months, that’s the best recommendation from a consumer perspective,” Hall said.

If you’re determined to get a new factory car, go online and start looking.

“There are dealers with cars on their lots and still offers to be made, it might be harder to find them than in the past.” he said.

Experts think the flea shortage could last the remainder of this year and through early 2022meaning used car prices will remain high.