SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Siouxlanders thinking about buying a new or used car with their tax refund may find it difficult to find the make and model they’re looking for.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused major supply chain issues for many industries, but the automotive industry is slowly beginning a comeback.

“We could see in 2021 the used car market increased rapidly. Now that market has slowly came back,” said Mike McVay, sales manager with Knoepfler Chevrolet.

According to the National Auto Dealers Association, from 2020 to 2021, used car prices increased roughly 17% compared to just a 0.2% increase between 2019 and 2020.

“Your average price of a used car is somewhere in the $25,000 to $30,000 range for a late model used car. Let’s say back in 2019 that same car might have been $24,000, $26,000,” said McVay.

The price increase of used cars is due in part to a lack of inventory for new vehicles. 

“We went probably a year, years and a half without any new cars on the ground they were all selling before they got here,” said Erik Hazard, sales manager for Jensen Mazda.

According to JD Power’s most recent sales forecast, about 47% of cars are sold within ten days of arriving at a dealership. While that’s a decrease compared to March of last year, Siouxlanders are still struggling to purchase a new or newer car. But as supply chain issues slowly resolve, Siouxlanders will eventually see a change in used car prices as newer cars are slowly filling lots.

“We are approaching a normal market again. New inventories are ramping up slowly, but they are.” said Hazard.

While the auto market is starting to see improvement, officials in the industry said it’ll be months before inventory supplies return to pre-pandemic levels.