I'm one of many of you in East Texas that may be looking for a new car at the absolute worst time in the history of ever. To make my situation worse, I haven't financed a vehicle since 2006. I wasn't prepared to buy a new vehicle so I'm having to go through the long process of saving money to have a large enough down payment to make my monthly payments more affordable. It really sucks right now.

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Back in February, my 2004 Saturn Ion Redline finally bit the dust. I bought that car in 2006 and is the last vehicle I financed. I finished paying that car off in 2011. As nice as it was not having a car payment for a decade, it has really hurt when looking for a new vehicle. I don't have any car payment history on my credit now. Ugh!

I looked at various vehicles the couple of months after losing my car and found I just need to buckle down and save a huge chunk of money so I can have a large down payment. Cool.

Then the chip shortage hit

It is an absolute nightmare looking for even a used vehicle anywhere because of this shortage. I'm seeing local dealership listings for a basic 2009 sedan with 80,000 miles for $14,000. Holy crap! I get that vehicles are hard to find but that's outrageous.

Then I run across an article talking about how some car dealerships are forcing people to use their financing company so they can make a little extra profit because vehicles are so hard to find. The article says that in the month of October, the "average auto transaction" was $43,999. There is nothing illegal about the practice but it is kinda scummy to do it.

To my knowledge, this practice isn't happening in East Texas. However, if you have had it happen to you, you can report it to the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner, OCCC, by calling 800-538-1579, email consumer.complaints@occc.texas.gov or visiting occc.texas.gov. This will just provide some ammunition, so to speak, for the group to go to the Texas legislature about the practice.

I do see a ton of dealer plates on vehicles around Tyler. I'm glad you're able to find something in this crazy market and I hope you got it at a decent price. Luckily, I bank at a great credit union and I will work with them again when I'm able get back into the car market. Until then, I'll give you a nice wave from the station vehicle as I'm cruising South Broadway.

As I mentioned above, that last car I owned was a 2004 Saturn Ion Redline. His name was Ion Prime and I have gave him a nice send off all those months ago.

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