By on May 18, 2021

While we’d like to get away from stories about everything becoming more expensive, everything actually is becoming more expensive and it looks like a healthy slice of the population is allegedly willing to go along with it. According to the latest data coming from Cox Automotive, roughly 40 percent of the U.S. population would purchase a vehicle at 12 percent above sticker. There’s always been a subset of shoppers who don’t know when they’re being taken but this represents a healthy share of the country.

It makes one wonder where these surveys were being conducted until Cox summarized the situation as the direct result of a populace beaten down by their environment. Apparently, people no longer expect to find good deals and have not yet reached the point where they’ll feel comfortable driving around in the same busted crate that’s seen them through the last decade as a way to save money. 

“The global shortage of microchips is one of the top stories right now in the automobile business, and if you are a consumer looking for a new vehicle, you don’t have to search hard to see the reports,” notes Vanessa Ton, senior industry intelligence manager at Kelley Blue Book (KBB), a Cox Automotive company. “Shoppers are expecting high prices and limited choices, and that’s exactly what they are finding.”

In dollars, that 12-percent increase amounts to roughly $4,900 — as the price of the average new car now exceeded $40,000 at the start of this year. And almost half the population is willing to pay it, according to the survey. But KBB suggested the prices are probably a bit higher than that, citing its own elevated pricing metrics over the last couple of months:

The Kelley Blue Book research shows that 87 [percent] of consumers recognize the issue is impacting both domestic and import nameplates. As the issue is industry-wide, 73 [percent] of consumers are expecting to face higher prices at the dealerships, and nearly 60 [percent] believe they will find lower incentives. Four out of ten consumers are willing to pay above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), and those willing to pay over MSRP are willing to accept a 12 [percent] premium. In April, according to Kelley Blue Book estimates, the average MSRP for a new vehicle in the U.S. was $41,950. In other words, many consumers are willing to pay $5,000 over sticker price.

Awareness of what has become a “seller’s market” has steered some consumers to the sidelines. The research shows that 37 [percent] of in-market consumers are now planning to postpone their purchase. Of those consumers deciding to delay, 70 [percent] will step back for three months or more. Only 23 [percent] of new-vehicle intenders are willing to switch their purchase intention to a used vehicle. Fewer are willing to shift segments.

That’s a shame because yours truly was hoping to see an influx of economy-focused compacts that eventually made way for high-strung and performance-focused siblings. Instead, it looks like we’ll just have people blowing over 40 grand on crossover vehicles.

Though the 37 percent of people that Cox claims are getting out of the market (at least temporarily) could make the assumed price tolerances short-lived. Some people (likely yourself) are simply unwilling to live with the shame associated with paying way over sticker and, if supply issues are solved and production schedules normalize, the industry could find itself with a totally new set of problems. Though we don’t foresee anything like that happening until the end of 2021, if not substantially later.

[Image: Gretchen Gunda Enger/Shutterstock]

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96 Comments on “Report: People Willing to Pay Stupid Prices for New Cars...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I hope I never need a car so badly that I would pay anything close to sticker much less over. I’m out until things get back to normal

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree I don’t need a vehicle so bad that I am willing to pay above sticker. Having bought 2 vehicles in the past year and a half I can go at least 5 years and probably 10. Some of these vehicles that people are paying above sticker price will in a few short years be worth a lot less. Eventually people will not be willing to pay increased prices and many will be maxed out on their credit. I wonder how many of these vehicles sold now will be reposed.

  • avatar
    jmo

    There is a major flaw in your logic. You can be like Tesla or Carmax and say the vehicle is $32,500 or $55,300 and that’s the end of it. Or you can raise the MSRP 12% and offer, “Employee pricing for all!” Or you say, “It’s the end of the month so we’re going to let it go for $3k off plus incentives.

    How good a deal you get doesn’t really have anything to do with how much off “sticker” you’re getting. As an example, every couple days I get an e-mail from Gap and Banana Republic saying, “50% off all items.” Have they ever not offered 50% off? No. Does 50% off mean I’m getting a deal? No.

    Same with cars. Just because they jack up the price and offer 0% financing or cash back or whatever isn’t really indicative of anything.

  • avatar
    FerrariLaFerrariFace

    I wonder what percentage of these folks don’t realize they are paying an extra 5 large, and are instead choosing to look at it as “an extra $xx/month, or a 96 month loan vs 84 month?
    Which is to say, I wonder how many of these people actually understand how much more they are really paying?

  • avatar
    carguy

    Report: Stupid People Willing to Pay Stupid Prices for New Cars

    Fixed it for you.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Which raises the price for you and me.

    • 0 avatar
      DungBeetle62

      You got that right. “I see you want this much for that shiny new car, how about I give you even more?”

      I’ll admit I paid sticker for the current ride. I was cash-happy with a new raise. All it bought me was about 9 months of concept car attention as the Miata PRHT was still new late in 2006. But since I’m still driving it today, I probably got my money’s worth.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      Was going to suggest that title, but you beat me to it….:)

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”

    FDR

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I do not understand people so desperate for a new car that they are willing to pay nearly $5k more for it. How much would $5k go toward repairing any issues their current car has? Or, more realistically, paying down the massive loan they still likely owe on their current car.

    I sold my lease in November since the money was right and I don’t currently have a need for a commuter car. I had been planning on getting something again once things went back to normal, but if price were to factor in to that “normal,” it looks like we’re getting farther and father away from that as my July return to the office date approaches. Unless it’s RHD, I doubt I’ll be buying anything until at least 2022.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Agreed. Unless a vehicle is used directly for work, it’s a luxury item. I’ll wait if I don’t like pricing and/or financing.

    • 0 avatar

      “I do not understand people so desperate for a new car that they are willing to pay nearly $5k more”

      It is easily – people saved too much money last year plus free money from government. In other words it is the inflation – too much money vs too few goods.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    True just add the extra cost to the payments.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree about spending an additional 5k for repairs unless the vehicle is an absolute rust bucket or is beyond repair. I am thinking about spending to have the frame and body panels on my Ranger cleaned and rust proofed. Get it before the rust sets in. It is a good solid truck and mechanically it is sound.

  • avatar
    Dawnrazor

    I think at least some of the 40% is explained by “fear of missing out”. The media coverage of increasing prices compounded by semiconductor and other shortages in numerous segments has been relentless, and I think a lot of folks conclude “it’s now or never”.

    Add to that the general anxiety of the times we live in, and it’s not a stretch to think that a substantial proportion of the population might panic a little on some level and make buying decisions they would otherwise shun in more “normal” times.

    I don’t think it is a case of merely making “stupid” decisions (most people are not stupid, in fact), but rather hedging against things getting even more expensive if they wait it out too long. It’s not the approach I would take, but I understand why some do.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      The hedging is one reason why we bought a car last week. We were able to get an OK discount and decided to buy before discounts vanished altogether. That, and we felt like we didn’t want to take our chances on our old Hyundai by waiting another 12 months…or more. Who knows exactly how long it will take for the market to calm down?

      I can’t say it was the absolute best decision, we just felt it was best for our situation. We didn’t feel waiting was “worth it” in a broader sense.

      • 0 avatar

        We bought a car year ago. We caught it on the upswing a month before it would have been 10% cheaper now a year later it would have been 20% more expensive.

      • 0 avatar
        swester

        Congratulations, you are the quintessential victim of FOMO and further proof of why companies can leverage flaws in human psychology to take advantage of fear and anxiety.

        That being said, if you needed it, then you made the right decision regardless of the market – which is practically impossible to predict.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I haven’t seen many MSRP increases (although I think that’s coming next year), but I have seen greatly reduced incentives/advertised discounts. For segments like pick ups that traditionally had high discounts the functional price increase works out to $5K-$10k.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      My local Chevy and Ford dealerships have been hand-to-mouth on most trucks for the last several months. The reduction in incentives makes sense.

      • 0 avatar
        SaulTigh

        My local Chevy dealership only has 7 Silverado 1500’s and 1 2500 HD in stock. No Tahoe’s or Suburbans. Last week it was 2 Silverados and 1 Tahoe, so a little better this week. This is not a small town and it’s a mid-sized dealership that would normally have 40-50 1500’s in stock, pre-Covid.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    We bought a new Toyota Venza last week using the Costco program. It took about 6% off the sticker, which we felt was good enough considering we buy cars every 8-10 years.

    We debated waiting another year but ultimately decided to buy now, on our own time, before the market got any crazier. If we were faced with the proposition of paying over MSRP, we probably would have waited until prices returned back to earth.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    By their own actions “the fear of missing out” buyers will bring higher prices. People get panicky when there are shortages. I remember the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 and the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979 where people were rushing out to get more fuel efficient cars and there was such a glut of full sized cars that the dealers would no longer take them as trade ins. In the case of the Arab Oil Embargo six months latter things for the most part were back to normal and many were buying full size cars again. During that time Johnny Carson made a joke stating that next there would be a toilet paper shortage and people rushed out to buy toilet paper creating a shortage. Later Johnny apologized and said it was just a joke. Doesn’t take much to get people to panicky.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      you don’t remember the Great Toilet Paper Rush of 2020? “Hey, there’s a virus that gives you a fever and can put you in the hospital and you lose your sense of smell! GIVE ME ALL THE TOILET PAPER YOU HAVE NOW!!!”

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Though we don’t foresee anything like that happening until the end of 2021, if not substantially later.”

    This goes on until late 2023 into 2024 or later.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I agree. I don’t think “normal” for the vehicle market is coming back until 2024 or later. The chip/parts shortage will likely be resolved in the next 12 months but there is a lot of other pressure factors.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        It will be kept going artificially if its not already an artificial shortage. Thank the 40% or so who legitimately voted in favor of the “Great Reset” where they will be “happy and own nothing”.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    When things get back to normal-I’m thinking 18 months-could be 24 months, those who purchased expensive vehicles like large SUVs and trucks at MSRP-will see their equity evaporate when the $10,000 to $12,000 discount off sticker returns.

    Don’t buy a new or used vehicle right now unless it’s absolutely necessary.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “trucks at MSRP-will see their equity evaporate when the $10,000 to $12,000 discount off sticker returns.”

      I disagree, for two reasons:

      -Until Sleepy Joe’s junta was installed, vehicles do not appreciate. So at best you’re neutral with the work trim F-150 for 30K today which is [in theory] 25K tomorrow with incentives because the truck will depreciate a tad but wholesale/retail will stay in line with new truck pricing as we have been seeing for years now.

      -The stagflation caused from massive money printing will prevent this from happening in real dollars relative to 2021 purchase. So today, MSRP $30K no incentives, tomorrow MSRP $33K with $2K incentives.

      • 0 avatar
        tomLU86

        Today, MSRP on a base Colorado 4WD “Crew” cab is about $35,000.

        In two years, the MSRP of a COMPARABLY EQUIPPEED Colorado will be $44,000.

        Maybe you’ll get more off MSRP. Maybe even a $1-2k rebate. Unless you’re paying cash, instead of 3% for “well-qualified”, it will be 8-10% for “well-qualified”.

        Today’s $300 lease bargain will be an even ‘better’ bargain at $500 in two years.

        The used car dept will sell you that 2021 Colorado for $37,000. And they’ll finance it, loaning you the money THEY borrow at 9-10%.

        We, the USA, will not be going back to 2019. The intellectuals can argue that, the buying power of $42k in two years will be less that $35k today, making the new Colorado less expensive.

        But people have to pay with their money, or borrow money they must repay. A lot fewer of them will have the $42k to spend on a Colorado.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “In two years, the MSRP of a COMPARABLY EQUIPPEED Colorado will be $44,000.”
          “it will be 8-10% for “well-qualified”.”

          I’d say there could definitely be a concern that you either jump off the cliff now or have to jump off a higher cliff later.

      • 0 avatar
        CKNSLS Sierra SLT

        28-Cars-Later

        I’m in a pretty much upper middle class area. The only work trucks in the garages here—-are well those who have a name painted on the door. The rest are $50,000.00 to $70,000.00 pickups and Suburbans/Tahoes, with the occasional Expedition sprinkled in.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    I believe it! I have been watching the dealer inventories near me get thinner over the last few months, but when I checked this weekend – good Lord they had nothing, and these are major dealers that normally stock hundreds of cars. Much like the grocery store panic of last year, it’s interesting to see what is left when everything has been picked over.

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      A lot have prioritized high margin vehicles for the few chips they can get their hands on, so its not a true comparison to seeing the meat shelf empty except for the vegan crap. The dodge dealer here also has an empty lot with a scattering of rams and grand cherokees.

  • avatar
    ajla

    A material interest rate increase is when the real party starts.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      I am a retiree who is tired of effective negative interest rates on savings when adjusted for inflation. To increased interest rates, i say bring it. I’m licking my chops at the next cycle when inflation pops a little and the Fed decides it’s time to strangle it with high interest rates. That’s just what’s needed to cure the economy being supported by almost 0% prime since the great recession.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I just checked MMR…

    MY 2018 Corolla IM is now worth $17,650 with adjustments.

    I paid $17,5 in November 2018 for it BRAND NEW which means I am +5K or so even with another 50? months of payments

    SloJoeAndHoe FTW.

    • 0 avatar
      tomLU86

      28-Cars-Later your experience will be repeated for people who bought “good” cars, like trucks and/or Toyotas, etc.

      Can YOU get $17,650 if you put your Corolla up for sale? Probably not.

      But if Joe or Jill want a 2018 Corolla, they’ll probably pay what you paid for a new one 3 years ago.

      And if you’re 60 and like your Corolla, take care of it, and you will never need another car.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        If I put it on 10% consignment with a new car dealer that seems to be possible based on the MMR – suggested retail was $20,000 (which was the almost MSRP I sh!t you not). If I put an ad in the paper as a private party it would be more difficult however individuals can get used car financing on private party sales its just annoying – but that still being within five model years makes it easier.

        “But if Joe or Jill want a 2018 Corolla, they’ll probably pay what you paid for a new one 3 years ago.”

        Correct but this has largely been this case for several years before 2020 – the difference now is these used prices will push up new car pricing instead of simply being very close. When I bought mine, the average MMR was 15,7 with 10K miles. After crunching numbers on auction fees and a commission I would have to pay to the person with the dealer lic, I was only $1,000 between the used and new car at 17,5. All day long I would spend a grand to get a brand new car over the very new used, it also came with a warranty and ToyotaCare until recently neither of which I would have had on the used car. I said then on this august site, used cars really don’t make sense these days – and this Toyota was my first and only new car since I started driving in 1997.

        I’m not 60 but I generally plan to keep a car for ten years. I still have my Pontiac, which this August I will have had eleven years. I had my Volvo for five and recently bought it back after it being gone for three. I had my gold Saturn (with no miles) six years before I sold it in March. I just got the latest Volvo, a C70, but will likely have it for at least five years – longer if my mechanic doesn’t retire in a few years as I think he will.

        I just rented a MY17 Corolla in Phoenix with 125K on the clock. Other than the shocks getting tired, it drove very well and shifted with ease. No wonder Detroit wanted out of small cars, they couldn’t build one that well at that price point.

      • 0 avatar
        MoDo

        I believe it, I have a mint Fiat 500 abarth I would have been lucky to get $14,500 for in 2018 that I see listed now for $22,000.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I guess I’m just an old curmudgeon at this point. I’m not paying sticker let alone ADM, and I can’t wrap my head around a 72 month car loan, let alone 84 or 96, or I have heard as long as 120 now.

    96-month loan, 8 years, average mileage at the end of the loan 96K – you’re on the hook for years with no warranty coverage.

    At least on a 48-month loan (back to Jacks’s old writing on the privilege of owning a used car), you are for many vehicles in warranty or only out of the window for a short period. You’ll likely be on the hook for brakes all around and a set of tires, but for most cars, even problematic Germany luxury machines, that’s about it.

    If the person building the new Toyota can’t buy the new Toyota (or Ford, or Chrysler, or whatever) eventually the wheels literally fall off the economy.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’m a curmudgeon with you, retail is for suckers. On the 72 months, back on Earth it was nice because the payment was a little more fungible but you gave up whatever nice rate they were offering. I wanted to stay under 3/mo (no trade) so I took the 72 months at the higher rate knowing I’d eventually refi (which I did in summer 2020). You’re absolutely right in the longer terms not having warranty coverage is detrimental to the buyer and as time goes on I see an extended warranty as being required for longer loan terms.

      “You’ll likely be on the hook for brakes all around and a set of tires, but for most cars, even problematic Germany luxury machines, that’s about it.”

      I wouldn’t be presumptuous, Corey needs/needed a headliner for his VW wagon at 9K IIRC. Since VW headliners are made by elves in the island of Narnia in the Kara Sea I don’t imagine they are cheap.

      “eventually the wheels literally fall off the economy.”

      That’s the endgame of the junta’s Dig Ourselves Deeper plan. Ordo ab Chao.

    • 0 avatar

      The thing is most people I know with money issues have given up on new cars. A few still buy the odd new Elantra but most buy used and still finance for 4-5 years. I mean you can buy a 9 year old car with 150k miles on it and get financed for 5 years on it.
      I understand Jacks point but if you have bad credit it’s a bitch to even buy a cheap new car. Right now the most searched vehicle price range on autotrader is sub 10K. within 100 miles of my house there are 0 new cars under 10K 2 CPO and 1,000 used cars.
      And to your last point I’m pretty sure the wheels have fallen out for the bottom 80% of the economy the top 20% just gained so much it hasn’t completely collapsed yet.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “I mean you can buy a 9 year old car with 150k miles on it and get financed for 5 years on it.”

        This may sound counter intuitive, but we’ve got to get financing out of stuff like this. Niche stuff would be fine (i.e. diesel rigs, certain construction equipment) but I shouldn’t be able to get an 80%+ LTV on a 2010 Camcord north of 200K. Financialization dramatically increases the cost of anything that money can be sold against, because ultimately the fractional reserve banking design of which we subjected to is fraud. If items can only be obtained with existing money their costs decline, its that simple. Get the banksters out of subprime on this old sh!t and then the only dealers left are BHPH but it will again function more like pawn.

        After 2008 this stopped because criminals started selling CDOs against subprime cars instead of mortgages – previously *we* held the BHPH notes and took all the risk. Now stains of humanity like JD Byrider absolutely rape the poor and then sell the risk in a CDO. When you are holding the risk, the whole deal changes for all parties. You can still do well in the pawn model without making 400% and then setting the buyers up to fail 90% of the time. Karma is a thing.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Even the smartest consumers lose their mind when it comes to new vehicles. The Except most new vehicle buyers are dumb to begin with.

  • avatar

    My in laws are buying a new 3/4 ton pickup. They have been told it will be 1K over MSRP. They use it to tow a 5th wheel and their current truck is closing in on 150k miles and I think my MIL has trust issues at that mileage. They normally buy CPO but current market that makes no sense. Basic justification for them is they don’t want to loose out time in their retirement years, and new is actually a decent value considering the huge used price increases.
    I want a used semi beater pickup to tow and haul with, but prices are nuts. I looked at a 2007 titan this morning with 170k miles a rotted bed torn seats, missing interior trim and a cracked bumper cover, They still wanted 5k for it and I was the third guy to look at this morning.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “My in laws are buying a new 3/4 ton pickup. They have been told it will be 1K over MSRP.”

      That’s the kind of wild stuff we’ve got now. In 2018 you could get $12k off most HD trucks just walking in the door.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        That $12K off was simply expected because mfgs (esp GM) always used fictional MSRP because their sales model involved always giving a “deal” for “truck month”. Came in handy because now that fiction becomes a lottery check.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Of course the $12k off was expected but now the MSRP is a little higher and the discount is 90% less.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s why they do it that way, otherwise it looks like they are raising prices. No we didn’t raise the price, it was always [insert MSRP] sir/madam. You just always qualified for the discount, but because of the Agenda 2030 emergency plandemic blah blah blah.

            Kinda like when there is a statute against something idiotic everyone does that just never is enforced, until they want to f**k with people of course. Think: speed limit 45 on a three mile stretch of highway for no reason which is otherwise 65 and people drive 80.

            I think the whole we have 20,000 mostly pointless statutes and can just whip them out when we feel like it is kinda tyrannical, but what do I know.

            youtu.be/d-7o9xYp7eE?t=285

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    I would say it’s a perfect storm, but who knows what’s next. Who among us anticipated the pandemic–and the government response? Or the Colonial pipeline.

    The data in these “studies” is never as good as the purveyors of this data would like us to think.

    That said, if “the average transaction price is around $40,000, and 12% more is another $4900”, yes, people are being ripped off.

    In 12-24 months, the average transaction price will be $45-50k. Interest rates will be higher. So today’s rip-off will look like a great deal.

    This inflation is bad news–and it will get worse.

    People who were planning to buy someTHING in the next 12-24 months, and have the means, are pulling their purchases ahead.

    Americans over 60 represent a disproportionate number of new car purchases. They experienced the malaise era as teens or young adults getting started. Then

    The government numbers understate the inflation we are having NOW. Even so, the understated numbers are still very high the standards of the last 30 years.

    The automakers could sell more cars, if they had them. This chip shortage is a kick in the nuts to an economy that’s already been trampled by the COVID stampede (the lockdowns) and is about to get crushed by the elephant of inflation. All three of those are man-made phenomena..

    The the time the chip issue is fixed, say in 18-36 months, demand for new vehicle will be down for many reason–the pulled ahead purchases, and worse the higher prices and higher interest rates.

    We’ve basked in the sunshine of artificially low interest rates for a long time.

    Just wait till the $340/month 3-year lease that ends in 2022 is replaced with a $595 payment….

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This is a very good post but I wanted to respond to this:

      “In 12-24 months, the average transaction price will be $45-50k. Interest rates will be higher. So today’s rip-off will look like a great deal.”

      Market rates will rise as they did in 2016/17 and then fall as they did in 2020 when zee Fed goes negative (or MIRV warheads start going off).

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    My guess is that most of the people buying new vehicles are financing them for 72 or 84 months; over an 84 month period that’s approximately $59 a month which for most people doesn’t sound too bad. If they were told up front by the dealer the price of their new toy had been jacked up $5000 they would be shocked. Stupid buyers.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Not worth it. I can wait several years and add a few more and there might be more affordable EVs. Turbo 3s and 4s with CVTs don’t excite me.

  • avatar
    swester

    I certainly feel for those who desperately need something now and have no other option, but otherwise paying OVER list price for a depreciating asset baffles my mind.

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    Consumers want what they want, and high demand for an material good trumps all logic; hence all the folks not batting an eye spending big money to get their hands on the latest and greatest.

    Add that some consumers don’t know or care that the price of a car is negotiable (including acquaintances of mine)and it’s not surprising so many are willing to pay over sticker for an automobile when they already have a track record of paying at MSRP to begin with.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Instead, it looks like we’ll just have people blowing over 40 grand on crossover vehicles.”

    Imagine a crossover shortage…

    The horror.

    The joy.

    The schadenfreude.

    It would make the past year almost worth it.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    One thing if you desperately need a vehicle due to an auto totaled in an accident or any other unforeseen incident. There is always buying from individual owners, estate sales, and Craig’s List. You do not have to buy from a dealer or used car lot.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      True but those other sources never yielded many choices, more of a right place right time type thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      Craig’s List. From my experience, don’t even go there.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Agreed, Jeff. I just bought a Lexus with 52,000 miles for 80% off the original MSRP. It fits my current needs perfectly, and didn’t break the bank… and I owe exactly zero payments. Craigslist, private seller, and a very fair deal for both of us. They only drove it 5,000 miles in the past 3 years, and didn’t need it. It should be good for at least another 250,000 miles.
      The trick is to figure out exactly what you need (and/or want), be patient, and find a good one at a good price. You should never go to the dealership and pick whatever is in the showroom and buy at at the terms that they tell you.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Yes but if I were desperate I would much rather look at other sources besides a dealership or used car lot unless the used car lot was locally owned and you checked out the vehicle thoroughly. I did buy my 2008 Ranger from a used car lot but it was small and it was listed on Craig’s List. The guy who owned the lot did not have any employees and operated the lot himself. He had other businesses besides the used car lot and he let test drive the vehicle with no pressure. For $3,300 I bought a 2008 Ford Ranger regular cab, auto, air, and stereo with 101k miles. The truck need a new paint job, new tires, and a new rear bumper and it need a complete cleaning inside and out which I did myself. Brought the cash and bought it without any hassle. If you look you can find a reliable vehicle if you really need one. Needs and wants are not the same.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “As addressed in previous Reuters fact checks, these claims likely originated from a WEF social media video from 2016 that stated eight predictions about the world in 2030, including: ***“You’ll own nothing. And you’ll be happy***. What you want you’ll rent, and it’ll be delivered by drone.””

    https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-wef/fact-check-the-world-economic-forum-does-not-have-a-stated-goal-to-have-people-own-nothing-by-2030-idUSKBN2AP2T0

    I saw that video in 2017 or 2018. They were trying to imagine a city in 2030 (and made a lot of Demolition Man type references) but they envisioned a quasi utopia where you could hop a Johnny Cab to your crappy job (or something to that effect) and you had no life worries because a benevolent dictatorship was running the show. Ask yourself, wouldn’t printing 22% of all the money ever last year and continuing to do so cause such massive stagflation that the masses over time ***could not afford to own anything*** in fee simple because they would be priced out?

    Oh and the delivery drones will be spying on you, Stasi 2.0.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    I’m 2.5 years into having no car payments and my policy of always having 1 more vehicle than people in my household is really paying off as even if one was totaled, I could hold out. I can keep socking away money and wait out this insanity. I’m tired of making payments on things in general, so planning on paying cash for the next one when the time comes.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Next up: Real-estate-style bidding wars on new vehicle inventory.

    There are people for whom paying $5K more to get the vehicle they want when they want it is a perfectly rational decision. (I have been knowingly overpaying for weight plates. It’s all relative.)

    There is an old Married With Children episode (can’t find a good clip) where Al Bundy is trying to buy a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift [he forgot] for Peg. The flowers are sold out, and the store is opening boxes of chocolate and auctioning off individual pieces to the highest bidder. Things will likely get more crazy before they get more sane.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Next up: Real-estate-style bidding wars on new vehicle inventory.”

      Don’t give A&E ideas.

      • 0 avatar

        Already happening on the wholesale side one year old low mileage cars running across the block for over MSRP with dealer desperate for inventory.
        Heard a story a while back that towards the start of the pandemic a local wholesaler bought a huge block (over 100) of off lease Land Rovers at a steep discount, since sold them all off at 35-55% margin.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Deepy grateful that we don’t need a new car at the moment. 2019 Bolt EV is still practically new (10k miles) and 2016 Highlander Hybrid has 60k miles, which for a Toyota PSD hybrid means you can pull out the old “It’s not even broken in yet!” chestnut. The Highlander is boring as all hell, although very comfortable, but current prices easily keep me from being significantly tempted by any potential replacement.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Ranger,.

    Peak small truck. My buddy sold his and got a new Tacoma. Regrets it.

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      redapple-

      If your buddy read the numerous reviews for the Tacoma he wouldn’t have bought one. I don’t understand buying a vehicle where the sitting position is described as “poor” in so many reviews- and you pay a premium for it…..

  • avatar
    sentience

    Worst time to buy a car is when you need a car.

    Current industry-wide supply constraints are not making that any easier.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @SaulTigh–Very wise on your part. I too have saved money during the pandemic by working at home and not driving as much. I don’t eat out as much and buy a lot less. If I need something I can always go on Amazon and Kroger’s now has pickups and deliveries. It is surprising how much one can save.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      Thanks, Jeff S. It took a whole lot of mistakes to gain this level of wisdom, so I would describe it as hard won. I do feel for people that for whatever reason absolutely have to buy a vehicle now.

  • avatar

    don’t buy the bullshit. keep what you have and trade next year.

  • avatar
    dantes_inferno

    Buy: None
    Drive: None
    Burn: All

  • avatar
    Jeff Semenak

    We bought a 2014 Ford Flex new. that now, has 60k miles on it. Paid MSRP for 60 month/0% Financing. Payments ended 2 years ago. I expect 8-9 years more before replacement at this rate. Brakes, Tires (replaced the crappy Hankooks that wore out early) Battery twice. Phoenix is hell on Batteries. I should be shopping again around 2028, at this rate.

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