5 Buying Tips: How to Deal with High Used Car Prices

Shopping for a used car can be a difficult albeit enjoyable experience. On one hand, you really have to painstakingly research the market — get the lowdown on used car prices, read reviews, compare specs. On the other hand, you can have fun test driving as many vehicles as you want before choosing one to bring home to meet the family. 

Shopping for a used car during a global chip shortage is definitely more difficult and far from an enjoyable experience. Due to high demand and a limited supply, you aren’t afforded the same time and opportunities to research and test drive all the vehicles you’d like. To top it off, the few vehicles left on the used car lot near you all come with huge sticker prices. In fact, Arizona alone has seen pre-owned vehicle values increase by more than 20% since the spring of 2020.

There is a tiny stream of light at the end of the tunnel, though. Some analysts believe that used vehicle pricing will return to “normal” before the end of this year, especially once the industry re-examines their supply chains and begins building chips domestically, like right here in Phoenix.

In the meantime, high used car prices are the norm. Welcome to 2021, the year of “supply and demand.”

But I need to buy a car now, not in a few months.

We hear you. Even though shopping is difficult right now, it’s not impossible to find a great car. Not at all. With an open mind, and an open wallet, you can navigate the waters of buying a used vehicle during the chip shortage. Here’s how. 

5) Strongly Consider a Trade-In

People want to buy used cars. Dealers want to buy used cars to sell to people who want to buy used cars. Put two and two together: There is a lot of demand for the vehicle sitting in your driveway. You have equity built in there, more so than ever before, so strongly consider selling your car to a dealership in exchange for another. You’ll offset some of the high used car prices this way, as well as taxes.

Had you followed our previous advice and kept your vehicle maintained, its resale and trade-in value should be even higher than the average.

Get a vehicle trade-in quote from a used car dealer near you

4) Go for a Hatchback

Of all the types of vehicles, used hatchbacks, like the Honda Fit and Honda Civic Hatchback, have seen the smallest jump in price, year over year. As compact crossovers have taken over, these crossover-like hatches have been forgotten. Now, with those crossovers in such high demand, hatchbacks are making a bit of a comeback — at least in the used car market. 

Don’t wait for pre-owned hatchback prices to soar, too! If you’re looking for a spacious crossover or small SUV this weekend, try out the Honda Fit. It’s a steal right now.

3) Check Out “Unpopular” Models

Hatchbacks like the Honda Fit — which remains one of our favorite Honda models ever — and several “unpopular” vehicles have yet to see price hikes. The keyword there is “yet.” As the popular models become harder to find, these alternative vehicles will begin to rise in price, too. Strike while the iron’s hot and finance one before then. 

Should I Leade a Car in 2021


2) Try a Short Lease

Don’t want to get tied down to a vehicle that could leave you upside-down on a car loan once the semiconductor dust settles? Leasing may be a solid choice. 

With a short 12- or 24-month lease, you’ll pay less each month and won’t have to struggle to find and buy a decent used or new vehicle right away. After your lease ends and the chip shortage is (hopefully) resolved, you can go shopping again. It’s a short-term solution that won’t cause you too much anxiety.

Check out our Honda lease deals in Phoenix to see what’s available around your neck of the woods. You can likely lease a CR-V Hybrid and save even more money once the impending “will it or won’t it?” gas shortage begins.

1) Choose Honda Certified



Lots of auto brands are being thwarted by that dastardly chip shortage this year. Subaru, Hyundai, Nissan, GM — everyone. Yes, Honda has been affected by the supply chain issues, but not as much as many other brands. Used Honda prices haven’t reached the level of Ford (42% increase from June 2020 to June 2021), Chevy (41%), Hyundai (34%), or even the U.S. average increase of 33%.

The list of reasons to buy a certified pre-owned Honda has added yet another bullet point: Affordability. During this chip shortage, used Honda models like the Honda Fit, HR-V, and Passport are even more affordable than rivals in their respective segments. 

If you buy a used Honda Fit, you’re looking at a hatchback that’s only increased in price by 17%. It’s a far better deal than a used Ford Fiesta (22% year-over-year price increase) or used Chevy Spark (38%). 

How about used Honda HR-Vs? Used Hyundai Konas have increased in price by 27% since June 2020. You’ll pay 22% more for a used Kia Sorento or used Kia Soul. The price tag for a typical used Chevy Trax is up 26%. But a pre-owned Honda HR-V is only up a measly 19%, far short of the average 27% increase in crossover prices.

In new condition, a Honda Passport is a bargain. But a certified used Honda Passport is an even better bargain in 2021. Increasing by just 11% since last spring, pre-owned Honda Passport SUVs beat out used Hyundai Santa Fes (33%), used Chevy Traverses (29%) and used Mazda CX-9s (21%). 

Looking for an affordable used Honda in Phoenix? Send us a quote request, and a member of one of our Valley Honda Dealers will contact you with pricing. With numerous Honda dealerships in Arizona, including stores in Phoenix, Tempe, Surprise, Prescott and Scottsdale, we’re bound to have the right used vehicle, at the right price. You’ve just gotta ask!