Reader Question: Buying Used Right Now?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Boone asks: Do you have thoughts on buying for seven passengers in this wildly inflated used market?

My reply: If you need a seven passenger vehicle and not looking to pay a grossly inflated price, I’d suggest a minivan – the least popular kind of vehicle on the market right now. Avoid three-row crossovers/SUVs that seat seven – and not just because the prices are skyrocketing. They are much less spacious for seven than a minivan, by the nature of their design. Minivans are immensely space-efficient and the access to the interior space is not equaled by anything else. They also have lower step-in and load height, which makes getting in and out (and loading an unloading stuff) much easier.

The Chrysler Pacifica and Kia Sedona are both very nice vans; also of course the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.

Another possibility is a used full-size van like the Ford E series. Or the smaller Transit, which can seat seven – but be aware it’s a fairly crude little vehicle as it comes. But that ought to mean a lower buy-in cost!

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. Eric, just put in a similar question (without reading existing questions), but do you think if used prices are inflated its not a bad time to get a new car ? And do you expect this shortage to continue, or is it a temporary (or “transitionary” in fed speak) phenomenon ? Has this sort of thing happened before in the time you’ve been covering cars?

    • Hi Nasir,

      What’s going on now is something I’ve never seen – and is something no one has seen. The skyrocketing of used car prices has no historical precedent that I am aware of. Part of it is of course driven by inflation but I strongly suspect much of it is driven by New Car Hesitancy – about which I may write some more!


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