Anyone who is trying to purchase a car during the pandemic knows that not only are new car options slim, but prices on both new and used cars are soaring. Kelly Blue Book has published a new survey that shows new vehicle prices reached a record high in November 2021. Part of what helped drive prices up was a larger mix of SUVs and pickups.
The percentage of people buying cars decreased from 30 percent in 2018 to under 22 percent in 2021. The publication says that’s among the lowest percentage of cars purchased ever. Much of that decrees can be laid at the feet of slim pickings. Few cars are available at any new car dealership because of the chip shortage.
Another challenge is that often the only vehicles you can find at a new car lot are high-end fully option vehicles with massive MSRPs. More affordable cars and SUVs don’t last long at dealerships. According to KBB, Mitsubishi, Acura, Jeep, and VW had the largest year-over-year price gains in November, all up more than 20 percent.
Despite prices being elevated, sales volume was at the lowest level of the year, with a total of 1,020,355 units sold in November, which is the lowest level since April 2020. In November, the average price paid for a new non-luxury vehicle was $43,144, at a record high of more than $900 over MSRP.
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