The automotive market in Quebec saw a price surge in 2021 for new, but especially used, vehicles.

The vehicle sales platform AutoHebdo analyzed data nationwide which showed that last December, the average price of a used vehicle had increased by 34.5 per cent compared to December 2020, reaching $33,240.

It is the highest average price ever for a used vehicle in the country.

In Quebec, the increase is even greater, reaching 35.4 per cent, although the average price of a used car is below the national average, at $29,434.

No explanation is offered for this difference, but AutoHebdo notes that the average price is traditionally lower in Quebec. One theory is that Quebecers buy, overall, more sedans than SUVs and pickup trucks compared to the Canadian average.

On the new vehicle side, the average price in Canada exceeded $50,000 for the first time in Dec. 2021 to reach $50,758, an increase of 12.7 per cent compared to Dec. 2020.

In Quebec, the increase was slightly higher at 12.9 per cent, to $45,975.


The analysis shows that demand for vehicles has been very strong since the start of the pandemic, in part because many respondents to an AutoHebdo survey reported a decline in interest in public transportation and a willingness to switch to auto transportation to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19.

This trend, already seen in 2020, continued in 2021.

At the same time, the pandemic allowed many Canadians to save on transportation costs due to telecommuting, travel, food and so on, giving them more flexibility in purchasing a vehicle.

While these factors were driving up demand, the microchip shortage that has affected automakers has had the opposite effect on the supply of new vehicles, which explains much of the used car craze.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Feb. 15, 2022.