What Did You Pay For Your First New Car?S

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.

I'm convinced those high car prices are a main reason why driving is down. The New York Times looks at that this morning — of course, Jalopnik has been all over this, too.

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

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