Average price of new cars climbs to $ 46,036
The average price of a new car is now at an all-time high, according to vehicle valuation and automotive research firm Kelley Blue Book.
The average transaction price of new vehicles sold in the United States jumped for the seventh consecutive month in October, reaching a record high of $ 46,036, with buyers paying an average of $ 800 more than the sticker price. The average selling price reflects an increase of 12.9% – or $ 5,266 – from a year ago in October 2020 and up 2%, or $ 910, from September 2021.
According to Kelley’s, the average new vehicle is now selling well above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, at 2% above the MSRP in October. In comparison, transaction prices were approximately $ 2,300 lower than the MSRP in October 2019.
“Whether desperate or impatient, consumers continue to pay hundreds of dollars above the suggested price for new vehicles,” said Kayla Reynolds, analyst at Cox Automotive. “As the average transaction price hit a new high, the average incentive package fell to its lowest level in 20 years. To mark a new vehicle, buyers accept prices without haggling, with significant market adjustments in some cases. It’s absolutely a seller’s market right now.
Sales of high-end luxury vehicles and large SUVs and light trucks boosted volume. Luxury sales represent 16.3% of the total market, compared to 15.2% last year. The average price for a luxury vehicle was $ 61,020.
Total new vehicle sales edged up in October to 1.056 million, a 4.1% month-over-month increase. Sales, however, were down 22.4% from a year ago and 21% from October 2019. Analysts said new stocks remained “well below healthy levels” as automakers are shifting the available chips toward higher-end, higher-margin products.
And no relief is in sight, according to Kelley, with the inventory of new vehicles set to remain tight in the first half of 2022.