New Vehicle Prices Up $821 in One Year

The average price Americans are paying for new vehicles increased by $821 from June 2014 to June 2015, according to new figures from Kelley Blue Book.

Americans now pay an average of $33,340 for new vehicle transactions.

Are we getting richer as a nation? Well, no, most of us have seen only modest increases in pay in recent years, according to official data. Yet, we are paying more for all sorts of things.

However, paying more than 33 grand for a vehicle is an optional expense, since there are many new vehicle options costing much less than that.

People are paying more for vehicles because auto makers and financial services companies have made it really easy to. Factory-sponsored leasing deals and very long-term financing plans have made it possible to buy $30k-plus vehicles on monthly payments that make it seem like you’re buying a $20k vehicle.

At least until trade-in time, that is. With leasing, you have nothing to trade in. It’s like renting a car long-term. Financing terms of more than 60 months usually result in the car owner being “upside down” – owing more than the car’s trade in value – years longer than most people keep their cars.

If you are thinking of making a new vehicle purchase, consider the long-term ramifications of buying or leasing more vehicle than you could afford to buy on a simple, three-year loan. You could be seriously restricting your ability to save for emergencies, or retirement or other long-term needs.

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