Why Are Used Cars So Expensive in Montana?

Used car prices are going up all over the country. However, used car prices in Montana are particularly expensive.
Written by Alex Healey
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
The price of
used cars and trucks
is skyrocketing all over the United States. These rising costs have created a booming market for dealers and sellers but are causing hardship for the car-buying public. 
Some states are paying more than others for a variety of reasons. Montana is feeling the brunt of these unprecedented and soaring used car prices. It is experiencing above-average increases, making it one of the most expensive states in the country to buy a used car.

Why are Montanans paying so much for used cars?

The pandemic and the resulting ongoing microchip shortage severely affected the supply of available new cars. Consumers are being forced to purchase their vehicles from the used car market. This sudden flocking of customers to the used car lots is causing inventory shortages for these dealers as well. The result is record high and rising prices.
Montana's drivers are paying an average of $42,417 for a used car, according to
. The national average is $34,852, making the state the most expensive place to purchase a used car. With a 42.9% increase, Montana finds itself behind only North Dakota in percentage price increase since last year. 
Price fluctuations from state to state and from year to year are not unusual. For drivers in Montana, digging deep into their pockets to buy a decent used car is becoming all too common. 
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Where you live makes all the difference

Where you live can make all the difference in how much money you will have to fork over for a used car. Price increases span all 50 states but the combination of population and geography distinguishes just how much. It is no surprise that Alaska's remote location means it continuously ranks high in used car price increases.
Western mountain states like Wyoming and Montana are sparsely populated. Because of this, dealers have less inventory on hand at any given time. The result is a tight used car marketplace with fewer vehicles to choose from and higher sticker prices. Delaware has seen the lowest percentage of price increase at 28,8 percent.
The chip shortage is certainly the main factor in the supply crunch being experienced in the used car industry. For drivers around the country, accessibility is crucial. More densely populated communities simply have more inventory making it easier to find a vehicle at an affordable selling price. 

How to find the best deals on a used car in Montana

One positive consequence of the current state of the used car market is the trade-in opportunity for consumers. They can get premium prices for their own used car trade-ins since cars are in such demand. Of course, many might choose to hang on to the cars they already have because of the tight market.
iSeeCars suggests consumers looking for a used car should purchase brands that are in less demand. Luxury cars are popular and less apt to be available at an affordable price. If you don't mind driving a non-nonsense sedan, for example, you might be happily driving off the lot in no time at all. The more specific you are on the features you require, the harder it will be to find the car you want.
Buyers should also consider
crossing state lines
to get a better deal. Drivers in Montana might have better luck purchasing a used car in Idaho. As long as it is within a reasonable driving radius it could be worth the trip. 
The microchip shortage isn't expected to ease off any time soon. Until it does, consumers may have to wait a while before they buy.

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If you are lucky enough to find a used car in Montana, you want to make sure you have the best insurance coverage. Jerry is your number one resource for getting the right insurance at affordable prices. 
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