The average cost of a new car surged past $45,000 last month. Used prices are smashing records too.

·2 min read
2020 Hyundai Kona AK edits
The 2020 Hyundai Kona. Alanis King
  • The average price paid for a new car in the US in September was $45,031, Kelley Blue Book said.

  • It's the sixth month in a row that new-car prices have broken records.

  • The average used car sold for $28,364 in September, a nearly $8,000 jump from before the pandemic.

We stocked up on toilet paper. We cleared the shelves of hand sanitizer and wipes. But as it turns out, anyone who really wanted to get out ahead of pandemic-fueled supply shortages in the long term should've been buying up new Hondas, Chevys, and Kias.

The average transaction price of a new car surged past $45,000 for the first time ever in September, according to a study from Kelley Blue Book out Wednesday. It's the sixth month in a row that prices have broken records amid a massive shortage of new cars in the US.

The new $45,031 average represents a $4,872 increase over September 2020, when the average new car sold for $40,159, according to the report. The average transaction price jumped more than $1,600 between August and September.

The price hikes came as dealer incentives dropped to all-time lows. September also saw proportionally more SUVs, pickups, and luxury vehicles change hands than the months prior, pushing the average transaction price up, Kelley Blue Book said.

Shoppers who can't find the new vehicle they're looking for are flocking to the used market, driving prices there to absurd heights. In September, the average used car sold for $28,364, according to Edmunds. That's a new record and a nearly $8,000 jump over February 2020.

The average five-year-old car sold for roughly $24,500 in September, up from around $18,500 just before the pandemic, according to Edmunds. The US Consumer Price Index for September indicates that prices of used cars and trucks declined slightly, but it draws on different data than Edmunds.

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