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How to find a deal

Springtime car-buying season is here, and many hopeful buyers are ending up with a severe case of sticker shock in 2021, because used car prices are higher than ever.

Gary Heflin, owner of Courtesy Automotive, is busy these days.

Eric Oliver, owner of Beyond Exercise gym, has bought two cars from Heflin in the past, and he plans on buying an SUV from Heflin.

“I prefer buying used,” Oliver said. “You can get some good used vehicles in very good shape.”

But used cars are not such bargains anymore, with Edmunds.com reporting prices up 14% over the past year.

Heflin said there are several factors, and one is that new car prices have hit a record high of $40,000 on average.

Combine that with rental fleets no longer flooding the market with cars and buyers flush with stimulus checks, and you have a supply-and-demand imbalance.

“There’s a lot

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