All of us have been affected by the COVID pandemic in one way or another. One industry in particular that has had something of a domino effect that has taken a toll on consumers is the automotive industry. As you pass car dealerships, you may see fewer cars on the lots. That’s only one obvious difference. Something a little more impactful is the effect on repair shops and aftermarket parts industries. These industries have been faced with parts and labor shortages, shipping delays, and an increase in wait times as well as rising repair costs. Naturally, this has frustrated both those working in these industries as well as the consumers who depend on them.

Services being most affected by supply shortages are ones involving electronics. Supplies needed to regulate temperature, onboard computers i.e. powertrain control modules, body control modules) and heated seats are some of the most difficult to find. Additionally, the supply of oil filters and brake rotors are taking a hit; before the pandemic, repair shops were in healthy supply of these items. The most common delay in parts that repair shops are facing are brake pads, brake rotors, batteries, filters, and some tires. As a consumer in need of immediate help, this can be quite frustrating. That is why it is a good idea to plan ahead.

If you’re looking to purchase a used car, it might to be a wise decision to delay that purchase, at least for now. This is especially true for those who do not have a car to trade in. For those who do have a car to trade in, the value of the car being traded in can be applied to the purchase of your newly obtained vehicle.

With the current state of the used car market, vehicle owners are actually more willing to hold on to their current cars due to the fact that the prices of used cars has skyrocketed. Repair costs have gone up because the cost for the replacements parts also went up.

To combat the changes in the repairs market, consumers should plan ahead and anticipate when maintenance or repairs will need to be made. To do this, put an amount of money aside every month strictly for this purpose. Schedule your maintenance appointments far in advance and mark them on a calendar, so that you can hold yourself accountable. Always pay attention to the road and cars around you while you are operating a motor vehicle. Do not text while driving.

Finally, if you are in need of repairs to your vehicle, it is suggested that you stick with the repair shop of which you are most familiar. Being a regular customer of a shop may give you a leg up in terms of service in both the amount of time it takes to make the repair and the overall level of customer service you receive.