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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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Gianna Lodice '24 and Layla Coppola '24 February 15, 2024

Taking a Tumble: The Cars or the Cost?

Used car prices have fallen from their pandemic peak, but students still have to figure out ways to afford their first vehicle
Walker Stanton
Junior Nicholas Mancini using his lunch period at Nonnewaug to scan through Facebook Marketplace, the typical buying platform for most students, as he looks for a truck to buy. Most students will make their first big purchase from browsing through this platform.

WOODBURY — From prospective drivers to the most experienced, they must have something to drive. Whether a jalopy or sports car, it is still a set of wheels.

Used car costs had come to an all-time high during recent years, making it difficult for those looking for something feasible to drive. Focusing further into this, it had become increasingly difficult for students to buy vehicles.

The market for used vehicles has come down increasingly over a year’s time. This may not be the case for new vehicles as they are still at an all-time high, but the used car market rounded its peak in 2022, resulting in the prices to be making their way back down to more reasonable levels.

This created the even more potential for students to purchase vehicles on their own. There are the new drivers that get the hand-me-down car that the rest of the family learned to drive in, while there are also the new drivers who get a car from their parents, but there are many students who work and save to make their first big purchase on their own.

“I have worked hard to make the money I have now,” said Nonnewaug senior Luke Tarini. “I want to make sure that I buy something that suits me the best.”

Students, much like Tarini, work hard no matter what the job may be to make enough money to buy their own vehicle. It can be difficult for students to do so when they have a full-time school schedule, so making a large enough sum of money to afford a vehicle can pose a conflicting problem. Odd hours or even odd jobs just to put some money away are what some students go through to buy something of their own.

“Depending on where you look, prices seem to fall all over the map,” says Tarini. “This makes it hard to find a good place to look.”

There are all kinds of different places and platforms where people can search for a vehicle of their liking. One option could be the most commonly used buying and selling platform, Facebook Marketplace. Used car dealerships can be another great place for most to start their search. 

JE Service Center is a small business located in Torrington. Owner Don Blier works on all kinds of vehicles and is a dealer of used cars and trucks. This is a perfect example of where young adults can make their first vehicle purchase. (Walker Stanton)

“I tend to have used trucks and commuter cars, which are normally Audi,” says Don Blier, owner, mechanic, and salesman at JE Service Center in Torrington. “All the vehicles I have here tend to go just as fast as I get them.”

At the current rate, cars will be easier for used car dealerships to acquire and much cheaper for the consumers as compared to the peak of the market in 2022.

Used car prices currently are comparable, and in some categories even lower than they were before COVID-19. Inflation across the board sent car prices to a record-breaking high, which killed the market, but also the ambition for people to purchase cars. 

With lack of ambition to buy a new car, many people put money into their current cars. Some people have a connection to their vehicles, which could be the reason why they keep it around. Others may think that it is simply more feasible to put money into a current car rather than finding something new. 

“Being a service center, I work on all kinds of cars and trucks,” Blier said. “I think this is because most people would much rather put money into their current cars, rather than pay an arm and a leg for something new.”

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About the Contributor
Walker Stanton '24, Reporter
Walker Stanton is a senior at Nonnewaug and writes for the NHS Chief Advocate. Walker is from Oxford and came to Nonnewaug for the ag program, specifically ag mechanics. When Walker is not in school, he is working as a land clearer at Lenahan Land Clearing and Grinding or spending time with the lads.
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