That Popular S.U.V. Is Going to Cost You

“It’s been a strange year,” said Mr. Drury.

That brought the average purchase price of a new vehicle to around $ 40,000.

Updated

April 16, 2021 at 9:55 a.m. ET

Luxury car inventories are the lowest as buyers have rushed, while ordinary sedans are relatively high, Cox’s Ms. Krebs said.

If new cars are too expensive, you can just buy a used car, right?

Yes, but offers can be elusive there too. Last year fewer people bought new cars, so fewer used cars were traded. And the scarcity of new cars is forcing more buyers to consider used cars, which increases those prices, analysts say. The average price for a used car is well over $ 20,000, according to Edmunds.

On the plus side, if you have a car to trade in, its value is likely to be higher, especially if it’s a popular model. The average trade-in value, including premature lease vehicles, was about $ 17,000 in March, up from about $ 14,000 last year, according to Edmunds. The average age of trade-ins was five and a half years.

Various online services such as Kelly Blue Book, TrueCar, and Carvana provide a trade-in estimate based on your location and age, mileage, and general condition of your car, and offer bespoke ratings if you provide details such as vehicle identification number. Some even offer to buy your car right away.

If you’re trading in your car at a dealer, you should negotiate the price of your new purchase before discussing the value of your trade, advises Consumer Reports.

And when you buy a used car, it’s important to have it checked by an independent mechanic to identify any potential problems. If a retailer is reluctant to do this, it may be best to shop elsewhere, said Mr Barry.

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