Americans are shopping for cars in near-record numbers, but the world’s computer-chip shortage has left dealers with the fewest offerings in decades.

The market mismatch is driving up prices, and many buyers expecting to drive new cars off the lot have to wait weeks or months for their vehicles to arrive. Some showroom models sell for thousands of dollars over the sticker price.

The timing couldn’t be worse. Shoppers flush with savings and federal stimulus checks are clamoring to buy. Auto makers posted one of their best ever two-month stretches of U.S. vehicle sales in March and April.

Car dealer Claude Burns said he has gotten so desperate for vehicles to sell he recently told his service staff to consider turning away some customers to focus on fixing up used cars to put on the lot. Early this month he had less than a third of his usual new-car stock at his Chevrolet-Cadillac lot near Charlotte, N.C. He isn’t optimistic.

“I figure we’ll hit the pits of hell by middle of June in terms of new-car inventory,” said Mr. Burns, who also sells the Ford brand.

Justin Bates, a 42-year-old general contractor, ordered a new GMC Sierra pickup truck four months ago. He has no idea when it will arrive, he said, and is on the verge of giving up.

Has this situation prevented YOU from buying a new vehicle and if so which makes/models?

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Have LOW Inventories, HIGH Prices And The Chip Shortage Prevented YOU From Buying A New Vehicle. And If So, Which Makes/Models?

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