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3 charts show how absurdly expensive it is to buy a car right now

Jeep Gladiator pickup trucks at a dealership.

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Not too long ago, you could pick up a worn but decent used car for something like $5,000 and hit the road. 

Those days may be long gone. 

Used-car prices have surged to never-before-seen highs during the pandemic, and the inflated prices may be here to stay for at least the next year, experts say

The main culprit in all of this is a devastating microchip shortage that has hampered new-car production worldwide and sent buyers flocking to the secondhand market. 

In June, new-car inventory plunged to just 46% of 2019 levels, according to Cox details ⇒

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