Idaho, the state with the highest percentage of people who don’t own a car, has the second-highest rate of car ownership in the country.
According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, Idaho has one of the highest car ownership rates in the U.S., at 14.2% of people have a car and the state has more than 11 million cars on the road.
“It’s not a good situation for the car industry,” said Dan O’Neill, owner of O’Neil’s Car Sales in Boise, Idaho.
“There’s a huge amount of competition in the car business and there are people who are willing to buy and sell a car to the highest bidder,” he said.
According, O’Brien says the current prices of new cars are more than 30% higher than the average sales price in Idaho, and it’s hard to find an honest car salesman.
“People are willing and able to go out and make a buck,” O’Neills said.
“I think people who aren’t able to afford the price of a car have to go find someone who is willing to do the work, so there’s a shortage of good people,” he added.
O’Neill’s Car sales specializes in second- and third-hand cars, and his business has been booming since the recession.
The industry has been on a tear for years, with car sales in Idaho up almost 25% in the last four years, according to data from the National Association of Manufacturers.
In fact, in 2017, car sales for Idaho were the second largest in the nation.
O’neill said he’s expecting to see even more growth this year.
“We’re seeing a lot more interest and demand,” he explained.
In the meantime, he says it’s a tough situation for him, and the car dealership he owns in Idaho has been struggling to keep up with demand.
“They have to take out loans to cover the costs, and they’ve been taking out loans on their cars to make up for the losses,” he told ABC News.
In 2018, the dealership was going broke, and O’NEILL is still dealing with the damage.
“In 2017, they were having to replace everything and they had to hire a car wash, they had a gas station that was out of gas,” he recalled.
“This year they had so much money, they couldn’t even get a car washed, so they had their whole lot repainted and had to paint over all their work.”
O’Neill said that’s a real struggle to go through.
“The paint jobs have to be done, the car had to be repainted,” he continued.
“The car has to be cleaned, they’ve got to get it inspected, everything has to go.”
In 2017 and 2018, O-Neill said it was difficult to keep the dealership afloat.
He said he believes the economy is going to help, as people are getting ready to buy more cars.
“For the people that are in the industry right now, they’re going to have to work harder to keep things going,” he concluded.