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Average Price of a New Car? $30,748.

April 16th, 2012

Record New Car Average Transaction Price March 2012

The average new car transaction price rose to an all-time record of $30,748 in March, up from just $28,771 a year ago. The new record comes even as gas prices have shifted consumer buying habits toward traditionally cheaper smaller cars and compact crossovers, away from larger cars and SUVs.

Automakers are offering lower incentives and cash rebates, now averaging around $2,400 per car, as production is now more in line with demand with no need to deflate prices. The days of Dodge sedans with $6,000 rebates are behind us, at least for now.

Despite choosing smaller cars, consumers are springing for higher trim levels and expensive infotainment options adding thousands to a car’s MSRP. The 2013 Hyundai Elantra starts at around $16k, but upgrade to the Limited trim, add the Technology Package and a couple accessories and that price jumps to nearly $25k. Buyer behavior these days reaches much closer to the top trim than the base model.

A higher average transaction price hasn’t equated to fewer cars sold. At around 1.4 million units, March marked the highest total since early 2008.

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