Average New Vehicle Prices Hit All-Time High

Chart: Kelly Blue Book/Cox Automotive

The estimated average transaction price (ATP) for a light vehicle in the United States was $42,258 in June 2021, according to the analysts at Kelley Blue Book. New-vehicle prices increased $2,527 (up 6.4%) from June 2020, while increasing $928 (up 2.2%) from May 2021.   

“Despite record low incentives and inventory in June, last month showcased more historically high average transaction prices, reaching an all-new record,” said Kayla Reynolds, industry intelligence analyst at Cox Automotive. “New-vehicle affordability continues to decline as the income required to purchase the average new vehicle continues to climb. In June, for the first time in a decade, vehicle buyers were essentially paying sticker price – the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) – for new vehicles.”

The record-high ATP of $42,258 in June was 99.9% of the average MSRP of $42,290. For comparison, in January of this year, ATP was 95.9% of MSRP; a year ago it was 95.4%, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Every vehicle manufacturer except Tesla1 showed year-over-year growth in average transaction prices in June, with Stellantis seeing the second-largest increase (up 15.8%), just behind Mitsubishi, which climbed 18.3%. Most models in Stellantis’ lineup saw increases from this time last year. The Jeep Wrangler and RAM Pickup, two of the automaker’s best-selling models, saw double-digit increases compared to June 2020. Despite inventory concerns, the RAM Pickup outsold many of its counterparts last month with a 13.8% price increase from last year.

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