Old cars continually get crashed and break down, so there’s always someone needing a new car. But if supply of new cars is disrupted — and Ford won’t be the only marque unable to run its factories at full momentum this year — used car prices could rise even further. Could be a great time to trade in your old Corolla and buy an e-bike!

The downside is that if you need a laptop or a TV or even a fridge (yes, everything has silicon chips in it now!), don’t expect JB Hi-Fi or Harvey Norman to be putting things on sale any time soon. The usual haggle is unlikely to work if the salespeople know that there’s no more stock coming.

The financially inclined may be wondering if the shortage of microchips means it’s time to invest in a chip company. But the answer is that you probably should have thought of that a while ago.

There’s an up-and-coming company on the ASX that’s investing in computer chip technology (albeit not precisely the kinds that are in shortage). It’s called Weebit Nano and its share price is up sevenfold in the last few months.

But beware: if the shortage of chips means companies make big investments in chip-making factories, the current shortage could be followed by a glut. Which would be good news for anyone who can delay their purchase of an iPad and a Ford Ranger for a year or two.

This article was first published on Crikey.