With vehicle inventory low, new car price tags are at a record high, says Kelley Blue Book

Updated: Sep. 28, 2020 at 4:45 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - If you’re in the market for a new ride, now might not be the best time to get a bargain. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) estimates the average transaction price of a new vehicle is at a record high of $38,000.

Traditionally, you find model-end-year deals on new cars around this time. But the coronavirus shut down vehicle production for three months in the spring and car lot sales shrank.

“The better selling vehicles, the more popular vehicles just weren’t built. So, you’re not going to find a great deal on a previous model,” said Matt DeLorenzo, the Senior Managing Editor for Kelley Blue Book.

This vehicle industry expert says the inventory is low for SUVs and trucks, but some lots are stocked with sedans and compact cars. That might be where you score the best deal.

Don’t expect a lot of incentives upfront, though.

You’re not going to see as many of these big cash offers, or low interest rates or even great lease deals. There are those out there, you just have to hunt for them a little bit better,” said DeLorenzo.

He says do your homework. Go to the manufacturer’s website and put in your zip code to get localized deals.

Also, what you don’t get in discounts right now, you might get in trade-in value.

“Another interesting thing out of the whole COVID and short inventory is that used car prices are at a high.”

See what your car is worth on KBB and use that your advantage at a dealership.

“Maybe you’re not getting an incentive, but maybe you’re getting another thousand dollars for your car that you would have gotten a year ago,” he said.

If you’re willing to wait, you may see better prices at the end of the year. DeLorenzo says inventories may be back to more normal levels in December and lots may advertise the deals you’ve been waiting for.

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