WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Through the pandemic, the cost of used cars has steadily climbed, and many people are turning to online services like Carvana to buy cars.

However, according to industry experts, the best savings will come from buying locally.

Western Mass News is getting answers on what local dealerships are doing to help you get the best prices.

"It’s a supply and demand issue. It’s what it is," said the owner of West Springfield's Union Street Auto Sales, Josh Martel.

The simple principle of supply and demand has driven car prices up since the beginning of the pandemic.

"If you’re trying to trade in your car, you could get more money for it because there’s more demand for used cars right now," said the executive analyst of iSeeCars.com, Karl Brauer.

Brauer told Western Mass News many people are paying more after turning to places like Carvana instead of buying local.

"Of course, there are those services where you could buy a car completely online without a brick and mortar dealership," he explained. "It’s a great service for people that don’t want to go to a dealership, but it does cost, on average, a couple hundred more."

That's why iSeeCars.com told Western Mass News that the decision on where to buy is key.

"Something we always talk about in buying local, we are a small business," Martel noted.

It's a concept that Union Street Auto Sales owner Josh Martel agrees with.

"Those are the people that are going to sponsor your baseball team, your food drive, your local charity work, that Carvana is not doing that stuff for you," he explained.

But besides buying local, other factors that will save you money when you buy or earn you money when you sell is knowing the value of the car in your local economy.

"I think it’s more important to look at the general market, your local market, on how much the cars are transacting at," Martel added. "Not what they are advertising for. Comparing them to book value. Your book value is very data-driven, but it takes time to catch up with the actual market conditions."

If you can hold off to buy, Brauer's advice is to wait it out until the supply and demand chain levels out.

"We will balance this out eventually. They will be a sufficient supply of new cars which have dropped because of the pandemic, that will be a more sufficient supply of used cars," he said. "In another couple of months, if you’re thinking of buying a car, but you can wait six months, I would probably suggest waiting."

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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