The Average Price of a New Vehicle in America Is…

A recent report indicates that new vehicle prices are once again on the rise across the United States.

According to Kelley Blue Book, new vehicle prices jumped $1,660 in March 2021, which represents a 4.3% year-over-year increase.

What’s the Average Price of a New Vehicle?

The report says U.S. consumers paid an average of $40,472 for a new light vehicle, according to March 2021 figures. Kelly Blue Book defines a light vehicle as a passenger car, truck or SUV.

“March average transaction prices continued to perform above the threshold of $40,000, even with near-record retail volume last month, ” Kayla Reynolds, an industry intelligence analyst at Cox Automotive, said in a news release.

Let’s look at the average prices of 14 major car brands as of March. We’ll also see how much their prices changed since last year.

ManufacturerAverage Price% Change From
Same Time
Last Year
American Honda (Acura, Honda)$32,08610.82%
BMW Group$59,5924.78%
Stellantis (Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram)$45,5849.03%
Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln)$47,9308.39%
General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)$45,0765.12%
Hyundai Kia$30,6537.52%
Nissan North America (Nissan, INFINITI)$30,9173.49%
Tesla Motors$52,618-7.10%
Toyota Motor Company (Lexus, Toyota)$36,2106.46%
Volkswagen Group (Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche)$47,01215.40%
Volvo North America$49,9424.04%
Industry Average$40,4724.28%

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Just because new vehicle prices are high now that doesn't mean you can't save. Money expert Clark Howard prefers that you buy a "like-new" vehicle, although he says he understands why some folks want brand new.

“There are a lot of people who love that new vehicle smell, they want that new vehicle, and for you, if it works for you financially that’s fine,” he says.

If a new vehicle is what you want to buy, here are some ways to save money on it,

3 Ways To Save When Buying a New Vehicle

1. Shop Around

Don’t take the first deal that comes along … or the second. Make sure you shop around to compare the best prices for similar models.

Because different manufacturers and dealers may have deals that the other doesn’t have, “It’s ultra-important for you to comparison shop,” Clark says.

2. Avoid an Extensive Car Loan

If you must buy new, Clark advises you not to sign up for a super-long lease.

“The longest auto loan you should ever take out is 42 months,” Clark says. “If you can’t afford the payment on a 42-month loan, then you should buy a cheaper car.”

3. Negotiate What You Pay

You should be aware that the sticker price for a vehicle is never what the car really costs nor is it what you should pay.

Always make a counteroffer. Car dealers build wiggle room in the sticker price with the expectation that you’ll want to deal.

Final Thoughts

Driving a new car can certainly be a great experience, and as mentioned earlier, Clark isn’t against it. He just wants you to save as much money as you can.

In the new vehicle market? Here’s how to buy a new car for less.

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