The average new car price is now $40,573


Mook

El Presidente
Admin
Joined
May 23, 2007
Posts
177,110
Reaction score
18,298
Location
Elgin

In December 2020, the average new-car transaction price crested $40,000 for the first time ever. According to data from Edmunds, buyers paid an average of $40,573 for their new rides in December, nudging the fourth-quarter average to a similarly stunning $40,179. That's likely driven by the ever-increasing share of more-expensive CUVs, luxury vehicles, and loaded-up trucks.

That's not really what we're about, though. As car enthusiasts, we at Road & Track are constantly thinking of ways to stretch our dollars in the market. So given that budget, we'd almost all end up with used cars that have already taken big depreciation hits. Sometimes, though, you need a warranty, modern convenience features, and peace of mind. With that in mind, what would new car would you take home for $40,573 or less?

I'd probably end up with an ND Miata Club. As unimaginative as it is, the ND2 is about as close to perfection as you'll find on the market today. Certainly for under $40,000. Senior editor Kyle Kinard disagrees, though, noting he'd pick a V-6 Camaro with the 1LE package. That's a left-field call, an example of an oft-forgotten performance car ignored in part because of its more extroverted, V-8-powered brethren in the Chevy lineup. In FCA world, though, you can get a V-8 for our budget. So deputy editor Bob Sorokanich would take that route, throwing down 40 large on a Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack. Aaron Brown would also grab a muscle car, hoping to find enough incentive cash to bring a $42,000 Mustang Performance Pack 1 below our price cap.

John Krewson, our resident ruralite, would pick a loaded up Toyota Tacoma. And the rest, well, they're as predictable as I am. Staff writer Brian Silvestro and senior report Chris Perkins would both also snag Miata Clubs, leading to some parking lot confusion next time we get together. So that leaves us with three Miatas, three muscle cars, one truck, and shockingly no hot hatches. How about the rest of you? Join the Miata Club club or go for something a little more imaginative?
 

Thirdgen89GTA

Aka "That Focus RS Guy"
Joined
Sep 19, 2010
Posts
13,258
Reaction score
1,991
Location
Buffalo Grove
“Driven by luxury CUV’s”

Nope. Driven by 84+ month loans and the ability to raise prices carte blanche since most buyers just spend as much as they can afford monthly.
Yep, take the excessively long repayment terms away and you shrink the buyers market. People won't be going after that car because they can't get a loan for it.

Will cause the market to crash until manufacturers wise up and start offering cheaper cars.

But hey, since the economy is shit and things cost so much, few people have extra money to buy that 2nd car as a pleasure toy.

Honestly, I'm on the fence as to whether or not I consider 5 or 6 year loans to be the maximum. I've never taken a 6 year loan, and with all of my cars I've always bounced back and forth between 3-5 years. If there was a significant reduction in interest in a 3/4 year loan, over the 5 year loan I'd go for the shorter loan in an instant.
 

Outlaw

Well-known member
Donating Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Posts
17,097
Reaction score
2,923
Location
Johnsburg
My biggest single vehicle purchase was $50,000 before tax and shit, and I wasn’t making a whole hell of a lot more than that a year at the time... young and dumb. I put a decent chunk down and had a sub $600/mo payment but it was still a lot. I was also running a side business that covered the truck payments so it didn’t really come out of my regular income, but I was tired of working my ass off just to have something fancy to drive to work.

I like paying cash for things now that I’m not stuck with a small budget. I figure if I keep working harder I’ll be able to pay cash for nicer and nicer things lol, gives incentive to save and REALLLLY decide if it’s worth it when you’re dropping all of that money at once vs. “well shit I can find an additional $XXX/mo”
 

frank

Well-known member
Donating Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2017
Posts
1,167
Reaction score
1,662
Location
Sunny Florida - Sarasota area
The average monthly car payment was $568 for a new vehicle and $397 for used vehicles in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2020, according to Experian data. The average lease payment was $467 a month in the same period.

7378E294-22C7-4C84-9C93-F9E09D096C66.jpeg


With the COV and everyone maxing out credit cards etc... 84 and 96 months will become the norm for both new and used, I can see new financing with low interest rates or 0%, on used I have been seeing 3-5% which is decent, could be worse as most states have capped it some where in the mid 20’s% on the high side, which is much better then in the 90’s early 00’s where it was well into the upper 30’s% on a used car depending on credit.
 

Outlaw

Well-known member
Donating Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Posts
17,097
Reaction score
2,923
Location
Johnsburg
Yep, take the excessively long repayment terms away and you shrink the buyers market. People won't be going after that car because they can't get a loan for it.

Will cause the market to crash until manufacturers wise up and start offering cheaper cars.

But hey, since the economy is shit and things cost so much, few people have extra money to buy that 2nd car as a pleasure toy.

Honestly, I'm on the fence as to whether or not I consider 5 or 6 year loans to be the maximum. I've never taken a 6 year loan, and with all of my cars I've always bounced back and forth between 3-5 years. If there was a significant reduction in interest in a 3/4 year loan, over the 5 year loan I'd go for the shorter loan in an instant.
I’ve done that with my past two loans. I set a rule for myself that if I can’t afford to repay it in 3 years I can’t afford to buy it. Nobody knows how to live within their means anymore.
 

1quick

Well-known member
Donating Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2008
Posts
22,250
Reaction score
4,504
Location
coal city
My biggest single vehicle purchase was $50,000 before tax and shit, and I wasn’t making a whole hell of a lot more than that a year at the time... young and dumb. I put a decent chunk down and had a sub $600/mo payment but it was still a lot. I was also running a side business that covered the truck payments so it didn’t really come out of my regular income, but I was tired of working my ass off just to have something fancy to drive to work.

I like paying cash for things now that I’m not stuck with a small budget. I figure if I keep working harder I’ll be able to pay cash for nicer and nicer things lol, gives incentive to save and REALLLLY decide if it’s worth it when you’re dropping all of that money at once vs. “well shit I can find an additional $XXX/mo”
I go to the dollar store in my town and I’m like fuck I here’s 5 Denalis there like 90k now
A days what do these people do I’m not rich but I do well and refuse to make a payment on a car that’s more than like 400 a month
 

frank

Well-known member
Donating Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2017
Posts
1,167
Reaction score
1,662
Location
Sunny Florida - Sarasota area
Yep, take the excessively long repayment terms away and you shrink the buyers market. People won't be going after that car because they can't get a loan for it.

Will cause the market to crash until manufacturers wise up and start offering cheaper cars.

But hey, since the economy is shit and things cost so much, few people have extra money to buy that 2nd car as a pleasure toy.

Honestly, I'm on the fence as to whether or not I consider 5 or 6 year loans to be the maximum. I've never taken a 6 year loan, and with all of my cars I've always bounced back and forth between 3-5 years. If there was a significant reduction in interest in a 3/4 year loan, over the 5 year loan I'd go for the shorter loan in an instant.
When I go used I try to take it out for the max I can 5-6 years, I like to have a low payment which gives some room in case of job loss etc... ( I’m in sales it’s a up and down thing ) I also pay more into each month and end up paying off my car early, or equity for a new to me pre owned.
 

98GrandPrixIraqVet

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Posts
17,960
Reaction score
4,045
Location
Nowheresville North Dakota
I still live in YOLOFIT world.

My 2020 Mustang was 0% for 72.

Yep where do I sign. Next vehicle will most likely be a 22 F150 once the lease is up on my 19.

Since we just bought a house its super nice to have that pickup and crew cab with kids even though Im not a truck person.

IMO people would be much better off focusing on CC debt before vehicles.

I know plenty of people that have mid $300 payments on absolute garbage vehicles then swipe a CC to fix the damn thing.

Quite a few times Ive told people punt that piece of shit and lease a car for same payment and be like call me when its done if you have issues.
 

Turk

Lt. Ron "Slider" Kerner
Joined
Jan 21, 2008
Posts
26,167
Reaction score
261
“Driven by luxury CUV’s”

Nope. Driven by 84+ month loans and the ability to raise prices carte blanche since most buyers just spend as much as they can afford monthly.
I’ve read that it’s actually the opposite, which makes more sense. The rest of the world caught up to the US and their workers now make more money than they did 10-20 years ago. This results in higher prices across the board so manufacturers started offering longer loans to help make the cars more “affordable”.
 

Outlaw

Well-known member
Donating Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Posts
17,097
Reaction score
2,923
Location
Johnsburg
I go to the dollar store in my town and I’m like fuck I here’s 5 Denalis there like 90k now
A days what do these people do I’m not rich but I do well and refuse to make a payment on a car that’s more than like 400 a month
To be fair I shop at the dollar store for stupid shit regardless 😂

Good place to get turkey pans for soaking parts in evapo-rust, towels, etc. I buy a lot of throw away garage shit there lol

And to answer your question they probably do something that earns them far less than you. They just live in a cheap house, eat ramen but have an $1,100/mo car note so they can impress people who don’t actually give a shit.
 

Outlaw

Well-known member
Donating Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Posts
17,097
Reaction score
2,923
Location
Johnsburg
I’ve read that it’s actually the opposite, which makes more sense. The rest of the world caught up to the US and their workers now make more money than they did 10-20 years ago. This results in higher prices across the board so manufacturers started offering longer loans to help make the cars more “affordable”.
Definitely true. Though I feel to some extent the prices of new vehicles is increasing above and beyond the costs of labor and inflation.
 

OffshoreDrilling

This is my safe space
Donating Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Posts
31,874
Reaction score
6,157
Location
Chicago
Availability of cheap money at long terms, raised standard of living, the increasing need of social approval through status symbols thanks to social media.

a lot more people would own larger homes, or homes at all, if you could finance for 40-50yrs and have little or no down payment.
 

Outlaw

Well-known member
Donating Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Posts
17,097
Reaction score
2,923
Location
Johnsburg
And for the record I have nothing against car loans, I totally understand people’s desire to own something nice and new with a warranty and/or maintenance plan. Especially people who don’t change their own oil, wheel bearings, filters, etc and would be paying hundreds of dollars to complete a $70 fix for us “car people”. I just feel like half the buyers out there over extend themselves, end up taking a loan for the max terms and never build any equity in a vehicle.
 

frank

Well-known member
Donating Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2017
Posts
1,167
Reaction score
1,662
Location
Sunny Florida - Sarasota area
Dollar store rocks ! So much good in those stores. Down here by me I was surprised at all they have in house brand items and name brand items

as for cars I have learned over the years to watch the cars that have the high residual / resale value when buying new or used.

look at new or used 4Runner or Tacoma’s for example:
priced high for what you get as in dated technology/ Powertrain , reliability can’t go wrong, Maintenance is very little, Resale value are sky high on these no matter the miles.

some cars new lose so much $$$, average I believe is 33% ( could be wrong in that ).

taking a loan for 60+ months on a new / used car that is still going to be worth something at the end is always a good plan.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Top Bottom