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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Don't be surprised if used cars are harder to find and more expensive for years to come, auto industry experts are warning.

By the numbers: The average price of a used vehicle surged nearly 14% between January and December of 2020 — roughly 10 times the rate of inflation — to over $23,000, AP reports.

The big picture: COVID-19 created a massive ripple effect, as Axios transportation correspondent Joann Muller reported last year.

  • Major auto manufacturers stopped production. That led to a shortage of vehicles on dealer lots, especially trucks and SUVs.
  • Fewer people traded in vehicles or returned leases during the pandemic's early lockdowns.
  • Rental companies bought fewer cars because of travel shutdowns, reducing the number they will sell used, AP notes.

Between the lines: The $30K sedan is a thing of the past, Joann tells me.

  • Many manufacturers even stopped producing sedans in the U.S. or abandoned their lower-priced models in favor of trucks and SUVs.

The bottom line: Low interest rates plus stimulus checks plus supply crunches all point in the same direction.

Go deeper

Biden to sign executive order to address semiconductor chip shortages

Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden is expected to sign an executive order on Wednesday to review the supply chains for a slew of American goods, including semiconductor chips and large-capacity batteries in the auto-making industry, AP reports.

Why it matters: Automakers across the country have been facing a semiconductor chip shortage that has led them to halt some car production and furlough workers.

Justice Department asks Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban

Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 11 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block Texas' near-total ban on abortions while federal courts consider its constitutionality.

The big picture: The court last month allowed the ban to take effect, rejecting an emergency application by abortion-rights groups. The law bars the procedure after cardiac activity is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

This arthritis drug cost $198 in 2008. Now it's more than $10,000

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In 2008, a box of 30 anti-inflammatory rectal suppositories that treats arthritis, called Indocin, had a price tag of $198. As of Oct. 1, the price of that same box was 52 times higher, totaling $10,350.

Why it matters: As federal lawmakers continue to waver on drug price reforms, Indocin is another example of how nothing prevents drug companies from hiking prices at will and selling them within a broken supply chain.

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