nCar prices are rising again, and the average buyer is spending nearly $900 above the sticker price this spring. But if you know where to look, there are a few car brands whose cars still sell for less than the MSRP.
The median selling price for new car buyers rose to $46,526 in April, according to data released Tuesday from Kelley Blue Book (KBB). This represents an increase of $304 from the previous month and a rise of $5,354 from last April.
The highest average price for a new car ever recorded by KBB was $47,064, recorded last December — a time of year when expensive luxury cars dominate sales and tend to raise the average. Prices started falling as early as the first quarter of 2022 but are on the rise again, approaching their all-time high.
Supply chain issues continue to roil the auto industry, and not all dealers are canceling discounts these days. To combat supply crises, they sold more luxury models than usual, which contributed to higher prices.
Dealers were simply asking people to pay higher prices for new cars, and desperate buyers had no choice but to oblige. Until 2021, new cars typically sold for hundreds or even thousands of dollars below the sticker price. By contrast in February, when auto research firm Edmunds said 82.2% of new car buyers paid more than MSRP.
Unfortunately, paying over the sticker price is now the norm.
In April, the average buyer spent $862 on top of an MSRP to buy a new car, says KBB. Many popular vehicles require larger price margins. For example, the average Nissan sold for $1,191 above asking price, while Hondas were rolling in an average of $2,730 on MSRP.
“For nearly a year now, we’ve seen new cars handle more than suggested retail prices,” Rebecca Redzowski, an economist at Cox Automotive, said in a statement. Cox Automotive is the parent company of KBB.
For several months, out-of-control car prices contributed to the high inflation rates of four decades. On Wednesday, the Labor Department said the price of a new car rose 13.2% in April from a year earlier, while prices were up 22.7% for used cars.
New Cars Selling Above (and Below) Sticker Price
According to KBB data shared with Money, how much you pay for the sticker price depends largely on the car model. In a few cases, you may still be able to close a deal under the MSRP.
Here are the brands selling well above the label price, in percentage:
- Honda average price: $35,132 – 8.4% above MSRP
- Average Land Rover price: $92,311 – 8.1% above MSRP
- Average Kia Price: $34908 – 7.9% higher than MSRP
- Mercedes average price: $76,086 – 5.8% above MSRP
- Hyundai average price: $35657 – 5.4% above MSRP
On the other end of the spectrum, there are a few brands that actually sell for less than the suggested retail price:
- Average price of Alfa Romeo: $53,330 – 3.2% less MSRP
- Average Fiat Price: $29,220 – 1.5% less than the MSRP
- Lincoln average price: $61,702 – 1.2% less MSRP
- Average RAM price: $60,245 – 0.9% less than the MSRP
- Buick average price: $38,967 – 0.9% less than the MSRP
Of all the makes and models, buyers who bought a Stelvio SUV from Alfa Romeo saw the biggest discount in April, at a 4% discount on their MSRP with an average price of $53,787.
Biggest brag? People who bought a Mercedes-Benz G Class. They paid $225,314 on average. That’s about 31% more than the already meaty sticker price of $172,249.
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