A 2-year-old Toyota sold for $1,000 more than its original sticker price, revealing how short supply is turning the car market on its head

Cars sit outside a used car dealership with spray paint on the windows advertising the vehicles.
Used car and truck dealers have bought models for more than their original sticker price. Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images
  • Used trucks have been sold for above their original sticker price in a red-hot market, The Associated Press reported.
  • A supply crunch from factory closures and worldwide chip shortages for new vehicles have contributed to price rises.
  • But prices have climbed at a slower rate this week, according to vehicle data site Black Book.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Some car dealers have sold used trucks for more than the original sticker price thanks to rocketing demand and a global shortage of chips needed to make new cars, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

Used vehicle prices have risen by an average of 30% over the past year, according to automotive data site Black Book, per AP.

Alex Yurchenko, Black Book’s senior vice president of data science, told AP that he had found 73 models of vehicles between one and three years old that were being sold to dealers at auctions for more than their original price.

“The market is very strange right now,” Yurchenko told AP. “Dealers need the inventory, so they are paying lots of money for their vehicles on the wholesale market.”

A vehicle’s sticker price is the manufacturer’s recommended price for retailers.

While many of the models were high-value trucks and SUVs, such as the Ford F-150 Raptor pickup, Yurchenko told AP that he found modestly priced vehicles sold above their sticker price, too. For example, Yurchenko found a 2019 Toyota Tacoma SR double cab pickup, originally priced at $29,000, going for nearly $1,000 more in 2021, AP reported.

“Before we get through this, prices for many mainstream vehicles will get closer to their manufacturer’s suggested retail price,” Yurchenko told AP.

The inflated prices are thanks to vehicle supply shortages caused by factory closures last year, a global shortage of automotive chips, and strong demand in the vehicle market, which is even leading to some sellers making a profit on cars with broken engines.

Used vehicle prices climbed 7.3% in May, and used vehicle price rises accounted for about one-third of overall inflation, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And used vehicle prices have also soared across the Atlantic – the UK’s Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) reported double-digit price increases over the past few months, and predicted that prices will rise further.

“We are in a kind of ‘perfect storm’ where stock is in very short supply, demand is high, and buyers are ready to spend freely,” VRA chair Philip Nothard said. Nothard said that dealers are also happy to sell older vehicles than they would’ve done previously.

The increase in used vehicle prices in the US has started to slow, with used cars climbing 0.75% last week – the lowest weekly rise in 17 weeks, Black Book told AP.