New Car Prices Back on the Rise

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The final sale price of the average new car in America rose in April after three months of dropping.

The average new car buyer paid $46,526 last month — $186 higher than in March and $5,354 more than last April.

Prices Likely to Stay High

“For nearly a year now, we’ve seen new vehicles transacting above suggested retail prices,” said Rebecca Rydzewski, research manager of economic and industry insights for Cox Automotive. “High prices, a lack of inventory, few incentives – the market is changing, pushing many would-be buyers to the sidelines and forcing others to order from future stock and wait. We expect new-vehicle affordability will be a challenge for the foreseeable future.”

Cox Automotive is the parent company of Kelley Blue Book.

Supply chain challenges continue to leave new car lots short on supply. A worldwide shortage of microchips, limited parts supplies caused by the war in Ukraine, and increased transportation costs from spiking diesel prices have all conspired to slow production of new cars.

Everyone’s Paying Over Sticker

Non-luxury buyers paid $862 above sticker price. Luxury buyers, however, paid $1,865 more than sticker. In April of 2021, they paid an average of $1,850 under sticker.

Prices are rising, in part, because Americans are choosing more expensive vehicles. Luxury vehicle share rose to 17.4% of total sales in April, up from 16.7% of total sales in March.

EV Prices Dropping as Selection Improves

Almost every segment of the market saw prices rise last month. Trucks saw the largest increase — $621. The average SUV sold for $391 more than one month ago. Vans and minivans saw an average price increase of $136 during the month.

Car prices, however, dropped slightly – an average of $101.

The price of the average electric vehicle (EV) dropped most dramatically – buyers paid $1,275 less in April than in March. The drop came thanks to an increasing supply, as more lower-priced models entered the market and offset the many luxury EVs currently available.

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