TTAC Rewind: How Has the Pandemic Changed Car Shopping?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Bark opined back in May of 2020 about how the pandemic would change car buying. Now that we're approaching three years on and we're living something resembling normalcy, was he right?

Did what he predicted become your lived experience as a customer or dealer employee? Was he off base? If he was right or wrong, explain why.

Lots of us made similar predictions back in 2020, and it's interesting to check in three years on and see if we were right or wrong. Spend your Sunday afternoon noodling on it.

See you tomorrow.

[Image: hedgehog94/]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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4 of 20 comments
  • Slavuta Slavuta on Apr 17, 2023

    I would rephrase: "How Has the Pandemic management Changed Car Shopping?"

  • Funky D Funky D on Apr 17, 2023

    Needed (not wanted) a truck in January of 22, which was a terrible time to be in the market. Perused the crap out of AutoTrader and finally found a resonablly-priced truck 600 miles from home. Spent $500 on the travel back and forth, saved at least $3000, likely more, over trying to buy local.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Apr 17, 2023

    We stumbled upon a stray, unclaimed Santa Fe Limited in March 2022 and bought it on the spot (after test drive). Nobody else had any inventory, let alone exactly what we wanted.

    Paid MSRP, 0%/48, no monkey business. First time for all of that.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Apr 18, 2023

    I had been looking at ZR2's for a while. Pre-pandemic one could find a 2 - 3k discount. That dried up during the pandemic. I wanted a diesel and since GM was stopping production July 1st 2022 I was stuck with what ever I could find. I was fortunate to find a blue diesel ZR2 with base level trim, no markups and amazingly no dealer add-ons.