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Mechanics and used car businesses boom after peak of pandemic

“I’ll drive my car for another year or two and spend more money on it to keep it running.”
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 10:10 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - “The biggest thing is there is inventory, but with prices of used cars, they’ve went up a whole bunch, so it’s kind of a catch-22,” said Windsor Auto Sales owner Nick Shutkas.

A lack of production during the pandemic led to a major shortage of car parts, which caused low inventory of new cars on lots so customers are looking to used car dealerships.

“The demand for used cars is there, and the demand for new cars is there but the new cars aren’t available, and people are buying used cars if they can’t find a new car,” Shutkas said.

Used cars are typically more affordable, but due to lower supply, prices are higher than ever. This has some drivers looking to fix up their current rides.

“I think our service has definitely got people spending more money on their used car that they were going to trade this year,” Shutkas said. “I’ll drive my car for another year or two and spend more money on it to keep it running.”

This had led to a boom in business for local mechanics.

“We’ve had to put people off,” said Auto Repair Specialists owner Dave Timm. “Our loaner program is booked out for two weeks in advance, you know people trying to get cars.”

Timm says at the height of the pandemic most of his work centered around brake repairs and smaller fix-ups, but now that cars are leaving the garage more often, people are shelling out even more money for the major projects.

“We saw an increase this year in the larger jobs: engine repair, transmission repair, things like that where maybe we would’ve traded,” Timm said. “That’s where we’ve seen the increase.”

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