The car-buying market is screwed right now. If you read the site regularly and have seen how much we talk about dealer shenanigans, you know. While markups are always bad, the more widespread problem is an overall lack of inventory. It’s hard to find exactly what you want right now because of the chip shortage and other supply chain concerns. And that’s left some buyers flying halfway across the country just to buy the car they want, Channel 25, an ABC affiliate out of central Texas, reported.
Debby Gossett wanted a Lincoln Aviator. But living in California, she wasn’t finding it in the right color/option combo she wanted, saying “I tried to go find it to test drive, and nobody has any.” So she decided to broaden her search to the rest of the country. That’s when she found the exact car she was looking for: in Abilene Texas. From ABC 25:
She traveled more than a thousand miles to buy this Lincoln Aviator in the exact exterior and interior colors she likes.
“I found like the needle in the haystack,” Gossett said. “The exact car I was looking for.”
She flew to Abilene from California and drove her new SUV all the way home, a 21-hour road trip.
You may think going that far to buy the right car is bonkers, but she had a good reason to travel. My own search shows that there are just 81 Aviators within 500 miles here in California, with 69 of those being the same trim. That’s slim pickings if you’re looking for a certain color or option package. And it’s not all that far removed from the car enthusiasts who will fly thousands of miles to pick up their dream machine.
But Gossett doesn’t seem to think that what she had to do to get her car was extreme. She called it an adventure, saying “I’m always down for an adventure so it was actually really fun to do!”
I call it ridiculous. Sure, the chip shortage (that some say could extend through the end of this year and on into 2023) is out of our control. But when you factor in extreme measures like this, markups, and dealers unwilling to work with anyone on price, it’s not a good time to be a buyer. And not everyone has the means to fly across the country just for a car.
Like I always say, unless you’re like me and you need to get another car soon because of certain circumstances, try to wait. Things will get better eventually. I hope.