What Are the Hardest-to-Find Cars During the Chip Shortage?

Car buying can be challenging even during the best of times. But thanks to the chip shortage, now is an even harder time to buy a car. Due to supply chain issues, vehicle prices have skyrocketed, and a few models have become extremely difficult to find. Here are some cars that are the hardest to get ahold of thanks to the chip shortage.

The chip shortage has wreaked havoc on the auto industry

Hardest-to-find cars chip shortage
A GM employee works on a pickup truck chassis | Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

One of the biggest side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the chip shortage. There are many reasons why the chip shortage happened, but the results are the same. Because many parts of modern cars require semiconductor chips to function, their lack has meant automakers have had to make some tough choices. Car manufacturers often had to close down plants temporarily or prioritize chips for popular models over less popular ones.

That resulted in fewer new cars on the market, which caused other effects down the line. Because consumers still wanted to buy new vehicles, the chip shortage created an imbalance between new-car supply and demand. As a result, two things happened. First, new car prices rose. Second, many folks turned to the used car market. Higher demand for used cars caused pre-owned vehicle prices to increase too.

Cars that are the hardest to find due to the chip shortage

The chip shortage and other supply chain issues have affected automakers differently. Each automaker has about 33 days of inventory available, CarsDirect reports. However, the hardest-hit car companies have much lower numbers. 

Many of the hardest-hit automakers are based in Asia. Honda, whose most popular models are the Civic, Accord, and CR-V, is tied for last in inventory with Kia — maker of the wildly popular Telluride — with only 17 days of supply. That’s half the industry average, CarsDirect reports. Toyota and Subaru aren’t far behind: Toyota, which makes the best-selling Corolla, Camry, and RAV4, has only 19 days of supply, while Subaru, producer of the Forester and Outback, has 20 days.

However, low inventory isn’t the only indicator that a vehicle will be tough to find. CarsDirect explains that automakers offer some models, such as the GMC Sierra, with many configurations and options. So buying those specific models might also mean waiting before getting the desired specs and features.

Low-inventory models also tend to be good vehicles

The 2022 GMC Sierra is an excellent option for many drivers, even if they don’t get exactly the one they want. The standard Sierra costs about only $34,600, and it comes with a capable 2.7-liter turbo-four engine. Its 310 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque allow the pickup to tow 9,600 pounds. That said, GMC offers plenty of other engine options for the Sierra.

There’s also a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel producing 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. In addition, GMC offers two V8 options: a 5.3-liter and a 6.2-liter. The smaller makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, while the larger harnesses 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, the Sierra can tow just over 13,000 pounds.

However, due to inventory shortages, consumers might have difficulty finding a model with all the options they desire.

RELATED: How Car Companies Use Planned Obsolescence to Get You to Buy More Cars