I've spent a lot of time researching car prices for the Curbing Cars ebook. This weekend, I wrote a story for Forbes about the top three reasons why people are driving less, and the number one reason is the expense.
The average vehicle now costs $31,125, according to TrueCar, which looked at transaction prices for June. That's up 2 percent over last year, and it's the second-highest transaction price in industry history. (Last December was the highest, maybe because of those Lexuses with bows on them in the driveway.)
The only reason the figure wasn't a record is that General Motors' prices are just shy of their highest level.
According to TrueCar, Honda and Ford are charging record prices for automobiles, and Volkswagen leads the car companies at an average of $33,802. The VW figure covers Porsche and Audi, but it isn't all that much higher than GM or Ford.
It got me thinking about what I spent on my first new car: a Toyota Tercel that cost $5,200, bought during the 1980s. It wasn't my first car. That was a very used 1973 Dodge Dart that cost $1,200.
The car I'm driving now cost less than the industry average, but not by a whole lot. So, I thought I'd ask: what did you pay for your first new car? Are high prices keeping you out of the new car market now?
Photo via StateofDecay.Wikia.com