MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Used-car lots across the Charlotte area are losing their inventory.  

“People get their tax money and then they come buy cars, whether they need them or not,” said Kyle Hobson, owner of Family Auto Sales of Mount Holly.  “That is what they do. Any dealer will tell you during this time of year, it’s really hard to buy cars.” 

Hobson has owned his used-car business since 2011. During Queen City News’ visit Thursday, his lot was nearly empty.  

“I got one car left right now to sell, and that’s because I did have a run,” Hobson said.  

On top of the typical high demand for cars every spring, the automotive industry is still grappling with a computer chip shortage.  

Manufacturers are making fewer new cars, which is slowing down the used-car trade-in cycle.  

“The market is very tender,” Hobson said. 

At its peak last year, the average price for a used car was around $31,000.  Since then, prices have slowly dropped.  

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Earlier this month, according to the Associated Press, a used car averages around $27,000. Within weeks, prices have climbed.  

“Now you have all of these people here that are trying to buy cars,” Hobsons said. “I’ve had several people call and I don’t have a car to sell them right now.” 

As for filling his lot, Hobson says he is going to wait until prices cool back down.  

“I am not going to go out and buy cars and pay too much money for them,” he added. “Because during tax season, it’s OK, but if you don’t sell them before tax season is over with, you end up with cars that are priced higher than they should be.”