Just when car prices looked like they were edging down from their record highs, they’re heading skyward again. It’s Hurricane Ida’s fault.
Ida caused widespread flooding from Louisiana, where it came ashore as a hurricane on August 29, to the heavily populated Northeast, where its remnants hit hard a few days later. It killed at least 86 people and its flood waters destroyed hundreds of thousands of cars, including many that were on car dealer lots.
Ida’s wrath has simultaneously created a sudden demand for car purchases while further destroying already tight inventories. Hurricane Nicholas, which hit the Texas Gulf Coast early Tuesday, could add to the problems, especially if it causes flooding once again in Houston, one of the largest markets for car ownership in the nation.
The storms could not have hit at a worse time. “Any new problem with car inventory is one problem too many,” said Kayla Reynolds, manager of economic and Industry insights for Cox Automotive.