Impact of interest rates on auto sales

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – While some real estate agents have seen their clients become a little reluctant to buy a home since the Federal Reserve raised the interest rate, the auto sales industry is unaware the same problem.

Prior to the rate hike earlier this month, Paul Miller Ford in Lexington was selling an average of 10 to 15 new and used cars a day, and that number has held fairly steady in recent days and weeks.

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“We have such (strong) buying power because we facilitate these loans daily, several of them daily, so often we operate with pretty decent interest rates,” said Mark Collier, chief executive of Paul Miller Ford. .

On the other side of New Circle Road, GM, Blake Carlson of Lexus of Lexington was saying much the same thing.

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“We have tremendous support from Lexus of Lexington,” Carlson said, before noting that his dealership can still generate auto loans with lower interest rates than the rate we’ve been charging now since the rate increase came into effect earlier. this month.

Collier and Carlson think now is actually a good time to buy a new car if you’re on the hunt for a car, because what you’re driving now might be worth a lot more than you realize.

“Due to the low inventory of new cars, this drives up the price of their current vehicle, so the buyer is now able to get more for their trade-in than they ever got before,” said said Carlson.

This difference could help eliminate any increase in payment that might be created by a slightly higher interest rate.

“That little bit extra in your trade, or a lot more at this point, will offset any interest rate hikes you might see,” Collier added.

Both chief executives also agree that the Federal Reserve may not be done with us yet and could veer a quarter point or more at some point. Not to mention that the value of your current vehicle could drop a little.

“It’s a tough time to buy a lot of stuff right now, no doubt. I don’t know if any car would fall into that category,” Carlson said.

Collier said waiting if you need a new vehicle could be an unfortunate choice in just a few months.

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