In her search for a cheap, used minivan for her and her husband, Krissy Dieroff has visited seven dealerships across Berks and Schuylkill counties in the last week, but to no avail.
"There's not much to pick from, and the ones we do find are overpriced," said Dieroff of Auburn, Schuylkill County, while browsing the lot of a city dealership on Monday.
Dieroff blames the shortage of inexpensive used cars on the federal cash-for-clunkers program, in which almost 700,000 used vehicles were traded in for newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles, and then scrapped.
Those clunkers were the cars Dieroff and her husband, Jason Boyer, would have been shopping for, they said.
"I saw the cars they were putting in the junkyard, and they were better than what we're driving now," Boyer said.
Some local used car dealers specializing in vehicles priced $5,000 and under agreed that there are fewer inexpensive vehicles available.
Q. Who could have predicted that outcome?
A. Someone who sounds an awful lot like me.