Update: The Average Price of a New Vehicle

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If you’ve been to any car lots or dealer websites in the past few months, you’ve almost certainly found small inventories and big sticker prices.

But after setting an all-time record in August 2022, the average price for a new vehicle dropped in September, according to a news release from car valuation site Kelley Blue Book (KBB). That doesn’t mean that high prices are in the rearview mirror: The average price of a new vehicle is still nearing $50K!

What Is the Average Price of a New Vehicle?

The average price for a new vehicle was $48,094 in September, which represents a 0.3% drop ($146) compared to August’s average car price of $48,240, according to KBB. This September figure is still 6.1% ($2,775) higher than a year before.

Breaking down different categories of vehicles, here is the latest price information from KBB:

  • The average price of a new non-luxury vehicle was $44,215 in September, down $256 compared with the previous month.
  • For new luxury vehicles, the average price paid was $65,775, a $60 decrease from the previous month.
  • Even with those dips, September marked the 16th consecutive month that new car prices have surged past manufacturers’ suggested retail prices.

Let’s look at the average prices of 11 major car brands as of September, according to Kelley Blue Book. We’ll also see how much their prices changed since last year.

CategorySeptember 2022 Transaction Price
(Average)
August 2022
Transaction Price
(Average)
September 2021
Transaction Price
(Average)
Month-Over-Month
% Change
Year-Over-Year
% Change
Compact Car$26,485$26,294$24,7350.7%7.1%
Compact SUV/Crossover$35,248$35,245$33,6370.0%4.8%
Electric Vehicle$65,291$66,453$59,533-1.8%9.7%
Entry-level Luxury Car$54,661$53,899$49,9611.4%9.4%
Full-size Car$45,333$44,210$43,1032.5%5.2%
Full-size Pickup Truck$63,231$63,387$57,774-0.3%9.4%
Full-size SUV/Crossover$72,869$73,536$68,568-0.9%6.3%
High Performance Car$110,985 $111,161$101,503-0.2%9.3%
High-end Luxury Car$118,354$120,051$119,097-1.4%-0.6%
Hybrid/Alternative Energy Car$32,968$33,242$33,177-0.8%-0.6%
Luxury Car$77,198$76,290$73,1801.2%5.5%

Shopping for a New Car? Read This

In this crazy car market, money expert Clark Howard doesn’t want you to overpay, so if you can get by with the car that you have, he suggests that you hold on to it until car prices drop. To keep your current car on the road, here’s a simple maintenance schedule you can follow.

If you absolutely must get a new car, here are some ways to save.

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.

“It’s ultra-important for you to comparison shop,” Clark says.

Because new car inventories on dealer lots have been stretched, Clark suggests a somewhat unusual strategy to find the vehicle you want: travel.

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“What you do is, you shop and even be willing to go farther to buy a new vehicle than you would have in the past,” Clark says. Read more about this strategy here.

2. Avoid a Long Car Loan

Clark advises against taking out an extended loan on any car, new or used.

“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.”

Learn more about Clark’s 42-month rule.

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 into the sticker price with the expectation that you’ll want to negotiate.

Final Thoughts

If you’re shopping for a new vehicle right now, Clark says he feels your pain.

But he points out that the production issues that have vexed the car market for more than two years now are starting to ease, which should translate into stabilization and – sometime in the near future – cheaper vehicle prices.

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