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Average New Car Price Continues to Rise on Growing Truck Demand

With trucks, crossovers and SUVs continuing to grow in popularity, the average new car price has gone up by 2.1 percent in June 2018 compared to the previous year, and 0.3 percent compared to May 2018. According to data from Kelley Blue Book, the average transaction price for a new vehicle has gone up to $35,511.

"Helped once again by robust demand for SUVs and trucks, average transaction prices were up a solid 2 percent in June 2018," said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "The mix of light trucks is estimated to be at 69 percent, up from 64 percent just one year ago. Last month was particularly strong for pickup trucks, as full-size truck prices rose 5 percent on new models and richer trim mixes. The underlying strength of trucks is best represented by the mid-size truck segment, which, despite no new products, saw prices climb 3 percent."

There are two manufacturer conglomerates with an average transaction price of more than $40,000 per vehicle: General Motors and Volkswagen. GM’s high transaction prices are mostly because of trucks from Chevrolet, luxury SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade and GMC’s popular Denali line of luxury trucks and SUVs. The Volkswagen group includes luxury brands Audi and Porsche, which drive up average transaction prices, especially with popular high-end SUVs like the Audi Q5 and the Porsche Cayenne.

On the lower end of the spectrum is Hyundai-Kia, which has the lowest average transaction price of $25,009, and Honda at $28,288. Hyundai-Kia’s low transaction prices are obviously partly due to a lack of pickup trucks and big SUVs. Most Hyundai and Kia models sold today are still, for the most part, humble, affordable people-movers. The story is similar for Honda, which sells a lot of Civics and Accords. Its only pickup truck, the Ridgeline, has a very small market share in the truck game.

So while you certainly don’t need to spend $35,511 to get in a new car, that’s the amount that the market has decided is the average new car price. The wide price range of new vehicles today means there are a lot of options for different drivers with different budgets. To find a car in your price range, set your minimum and maximum price while shopping for your next car on Autotrader.

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Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy Metro as his only car for a year and regrets nothing.

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