SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) — The prices of new and used cars have risen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Inventory was limited due to manufacturing cutbacks and shortages of crucial computer chips.

"Six months ago, we had the customers but we didn't have the cars," said Jeff Jeffers, owner of Jeff's Auto Sales in Sherman. "We had maybe 15 cars out there on the lot, so if we had some customers come in, by the end of the week we didn't have any cars left."

Now that it's been almost three years since the arrival of COVID-19 in November 2019, many consumers are waiting on things to return to where they were before.

"Our stock has gone down considerably in the past year," said Blake, owner of his namesake Ford dealership in Denison.

"In 2021 we couldn't get any cars," Jeffers added. "In 2022 we couldn't get any cars, until the last... probably the last 40 to 45 days, we've been able to restock the lot."

Although computer chip supply problems shortage contributed to inventory problems,  it's clear that's not the only issue.

"Even when people order vehicles and they have the chips to make the vehicles, they don't have certain commodities to make certain things," Utter said.

A lack of supply means more demand... and that means higher prices.

"They're at least a third higher than they were," said Jeffers. "And maybe more than that."

"I've talked to a lot of people that can't afford the cars we're selling right now, and they ask me how long it's going to take," said Utter. "And I don't have an answer for them."

Ford is hosting a meeting in October in Dallas, and Utter hopes it will help him be able to get answers for his customers.

"I would like to believe that that will shed some light on some things," he said. "But it just depends on what the information they give us is."

For now, both dealerships agree that until there are more cars in the lots, there will be higher prices. And the only way to see more cars is for manufacturers to increase production to ease the vehicle shortage.