If you’re in the market for a new or used car in New Jersey, you’ll probably end up paying more for the vehicle than you thought you would.

According to an analysis in Consumer Reports, used car prices have shot up more than 20% from a year ago, and the price of new vehicles is also up almost 9%.

April had the highest volume of sales in 15 years.

Jim Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, said the supply of new vehicles has been limited for several reasons including a well publicized chip shortage.

A shortage of semiconductors has limited the supply of microchip processors that are used in new vehicles, right as consumer demand for new cars is shooting higher, now that the pandemic seems to be winding down.

He said another reason for the vehicle shortage is “COVID-19 related parts suppliers having rolling shutdowns and interrupted production schedules.”

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Appleton pointed out when there’s a limited supply of new cars, “used cars, which are traded from existing owners, start to become shorter in supply as well.”

He said while consumers may have to spend a little more time looking for their vehicle of choice, the good news is “there are 500 dealers across the state, and the beauty of the franchise system is that those 500 dealers will move heaven and Earth to find customers exactly what they want.”

He added even with the chip shortage, which should ease by the fall, this is still a good time to buy a car.

“We’ll continue to see high demand because the economy is moving in the right direction," he said. "Stimulus money, much of that has been put to work, and interest rates remain low.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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