The immediate impact of Hurricane Sandy was devastating, and the storm's ripple effects will continue to be felt in the weeks and months ahead as communities work to recover. One side effect becoming apparent is Sandy's influence on the used car market.

According to the Detroit Free Press
, the destruction of some 250,000 vehicles has led to a shortage that could affect late-model used-vehicle prices nationwide. The National Auto Dealers Association estimates that prices could increase 0.5% to 1.5%. That may not seem like much ($50-$175 per vehicle), but suggests that in the short term, prices could jump $700 to $1,000.

So how could a dealer in Iowa be affected by a reduction in supply in New Jersey? Many used dealers work with the wholesale auction houses, where cars may travel many miles to meet demand. That means the absence of a quarter-million vehicles effects everyone.

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