Kelley Blue Book: Car buyers paid record prices in June, and minivans were highest

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The estimated average transaction price Americans paid for a new light vehicle hit a record high in June, at $42,258.

With dealers struggling to stock enough cars to meet demand, Americans paid 6.4% more on average for a new car this June than they paid one year ago.

Everyone’s paying sticker price

“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,” said Kayla Reynolds, industry intelligence analyst at Cox Automotive. Cox Automotive is the parent company of Kelley Blue Book.

The list price for a new car in June was $42,290. Buyers paid, on average, 99.9% of sticker.

Also see: Why automakers are closing this loophole in your car lease

Cars growing less affordable when wages are factored in

Higher prices don’t always mean vehicles are growing less affordable. But in June, they did.

The Cox Automotive/Moody’s Analytics Vehicle Affordability Index measures how long it takes the average wage earner to pay off the average car. In June, it also hit an all-time high — the average new car cost 37 weeks’ worth of income.

Almost every brand saw transaction prices soar

Every vehicle manufacturer except Tesla

reported higher average transaction prices in June 2021 than in June 2020. Mitsubishi

had the highest increase, at 18.3%. Stellantis,

the parent company of Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and others, came in second, with a 15.8% average transaction price increase.

See: If you’re shopping for a used car, these are your best bets

Tesla did not report price numbers for two of its most popular models, making it difficult to give a true estimate of how Tesla transaction prices have changed.

Minivan shoppers have it worst, EV shoppers best

Nonluxury models saw larger cost increases than luxury models – up 7% versus 2.9%, respectively.

More: Why minivans are the hottest thing right now

Minivan shoppers faced the worst climate. The average minivan sold for 17.8% more in June than it did one year ago. Only vans, high-performance cars, and electric vehicles saw their average transaction price fall compared with prices one year ago. Buyers paid 13.4% less for the average EV than they did in June of 2020.

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