When there’s sub-optimal vehicle availability in your local market, you could find yourself searching for a new car online.

If you looked for a new or used car at any point in 2021, you might have noticed a lack of inventory at many car lots. This issue is ongoing because of global supply chain volatility. The result is fewer options, higher prices, and more trouble finding the exact vehicle you want.

It’s fair to blame the pandemic for these supply chain issues, as low car sale numbers and COVID-related factory shutdowns in early 2020 led to a massive backlog. Manufacturers couldn’t get their hands on the necessary components, and it was dangerous to operate factories full of people, so they shut down production. 

When life started returning to normal, at least somewhat, demand for these parts was far greater than supply, so manufacturers couldn’t immediately ramp up production.

However, consumers are adjusting to this lack of inventory by altering how they purchase vehicles. Buying cars from out-of-town or out-of-state dealerships and utilizing a car shipping service to get them home is an increasingly popular option for shoppers seeking a specific automobile. 

Here’s a look at the current supply chain disruption, how it’s impacting the car industry, and what savvy shoppers can do to find the exact vehicle they want.

Key Takeaways

  • Supply chain disruptions are hurting car manufacturers and buyers
  • This volatility could be a long-term issue
  • Buying an out-of-town car and shipping it home could become widespread
  • Using an auto transport broker ensures you get the best deal

What is causing the supply chain issues?

Early in the pandemic, the demand for mobile computing devices and super-fast internet were incredibly high. People were working from home at unprecedented rates, so these goods and services were relied on to keep the economy functioning.

Mobile phones, tablets, computers, video game systems, and many other electronic items rely on semiconductor chips to operate. Modern automobiles use the same technology, and this double demand is causing a shortage of these chips worldwide. 

Many car buyers might not realize it, but every vehicle in production today uses semiconductors. These devices are responsible for powering items like driver-assistance features, infotainment systems, heated seats, and heated steering wheels, so there’s no avoiding them.

Their demand will only increase in coming years as vehicles become more complex, too, because consumers are seeking more features and greater convenience.

For a short time, car manufacturers weren’t ordering these chips because they couldn’t invite workers back to their factories, and they generally don’t store a surplus of inventory. Then, when they tried to re-open their factories, the semiconductor shortage made it impossible to increase production to catch up with demand.

The result is the situation we’re in today, as semiconductor manufacturers haven’t caught up with the market. Because of this shortfall, car manufacturers are still behind on production, making it more challenging for consumers to find specific makes and models.

How long could these car manufacturing disruptions last?

There’s no telling how long the semiconductor shortage will hinder global vehicle production. 

The president of Americas operations and global vehicle forecasting at LMC Automotive, Jeff Schuster, believes semiconductor production could return to pre-pandemic levels sometime in 2022. However, LMC Automotive’s official projections suggest we could be well into 2023 by the time production recovers. 

In the meantime, Toyota estimates they’ll experience a production reduction of 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles in February 2022.

Toyota isn’t alone in the losses brought about by this shortage either. Ford believes it lost out on 1.25 million vehicle sales in 2021, and Volkswagen missed its production goals by 1.15 million. 

Vehicles with certain features, such as heated seats and steering wheels, could be more challenging to come by in 2022, too, as General Motors dropped these features on specific models. As a result, consumers might not find the features they want on popular vehicles like the Chevy Silverado, GMC Canyon, Buick Encore GX, and Cadillac XT4, to name a few. 

The semiconductor shortage isn’t permanent, but it could remain an issue throughout 2022 and into 2023. 

The solution

Unfortunately, there’s no quick solution to the global semiconductor shortage because there’s so much demand and not nearly enough product. 

We could see domestic companies begin producing these chips in the future, primarily if the shortage extends into its third year. But that solution isn’t instant and won’t immediately influence production.

From a consumer standpoint, looking for vehicles in other jurisdictions makes a lot of sense when searching for a specific car with certain features. Online shopping makes it easy to search for the car, truck, or SUV you want in neighboring communities before traveling to finalize the purchase. 

Some dealerships will even hold the vehicle for you with a deposit, so you don’t end up traveling only to realize the car has sold before you arrive.

It’s possible to arrange the remote purchase of a vehicle, too, and use a car shipping carrier to deliver it to you. While there is some risk involved when going this route, as you’ll be buying the vehicle sight unseen, it allows you to extend your search zone.

If you’re looking for a particular vehicle with specific features, buying from an out-of-town or out-of-state dealership and hiring an auto transport carrier could be your only option as this supply chain disruption continues.

Using a car shipping broker

Naturally, the vehicle shipping carrier you utilize should have all the necessary insurance to ensure your new car makes it to you in good shape. You’ll also want the best possible service at a price point you find acceptable.

Mercury Auto Transport is a car shipping broker that can put you in touch with carriers to handle your job. We’ll only present you with offers from FMCSA-licensed carriers with the necessary insurance, providing you with safe vehicle transport when you need it. Contact Mercury Auto Transport today to learn more or receive your free quote.

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FAQs

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.