One of the unexpected trends of the COVID-19 pandemic was in the automotive industry.

With global parts shortages and worldwide shipping issues, it has been harder and harder to get your hands on a new vehicle over the past several months.

And while that has had a negative impact on the new car market, the demand for pre-owned vehicles is the highest its ever been.

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Which is good news for car buyers in South Dakota.

CoPilot has analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to see how many car dealers per capita there were in 2021, and the Mount Rushmore State is among the states with the most.

South Dakota's 106 used car dealerships translate to nearly 12 (11.95) for every 100,000 residents, which is the eighth-best in America. The national average is right around eight locations per 100,000 people.

Overall those 106 dealerships in South Dakota employ 612 people.

STATES WITH THE MOST USED CAR DEALERSHIPS (per 100,000 residents)

  1. Maine (14.9)
  2. New Hampshire (13.5)
  3. Arkansas (12.95)
  4. Idaho (12.78)
  5. Vermont (12.44)
  6. Nebraska (12.39)
  7. Mississippi (12.06)
  8. South Dakota (11.95)
  9. Alabama (11.92)
  10. North Carolina (11.76)

STATES WITH THE FEWEST USED CAR DEALERSHIPS (per 100,000 residents)

  1. California (3.69)
  2. Maryland (3.98)
  3. Hawaii (4.33)
  4. Nevada (4.38)
  5. New York (4.65)
  6. Alaska (5.02)
  7. Washington (5.4)
  8. Illinois (5.71)
  9. Oregon (5.97)
  10. Louisiana (5.99)

At the height of the pandemic, the price of used cars rose faster than those of new cars.

The average price of a pre-owned vehicle ($28,000) jumped more than 42 percent in 2021, while the average new car ($47,000) was up 25 percent.

LOOK: See the iconic cars that debuted the year you were born

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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