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Americans Find Relief As Car Prices Cool Down Amid Inflation Battle

Several factors have led to the drop in prices including price cuts and exciting deals.
A row of new Ford trucks are displayed at a Ford dealership | Getty Images | Photo by Justin Sullivan
A row of new Ford trucks are displayed at a Ford dealership | Getty Images | Photo by Justin Sullivan

After battling inflation and soaring costs, Americans are getting some relief as the prices of cars are cooling down in the country. According to recent data from several institutions, the average price for new cars has fallen by up to 2.6% compared to December. This is ultimately aiding to the cooling inflation which had been on the rise for the past couple of years. Several factors have led to the drop in prices including price cuts and exciting deals from several automakers.


In January, on average, Americans paid about $47,338 for a new vehicle, a price that is down by 1.2% from the past year and 2.4% down from a peak of $48,516 in 2022, according to

This data was further supported by Kelly Blue Book, whose report suggested that the average cost of new cars stood at $47,401 (lower than the Edmunds estimate) dropping by 2.6% from December. The report further showed that prices were down by 3.5% on a year-on-year basis.


Furthermore, the Edmunds data also showed that the average price of a used vehicle dropped by 3% to $27,297 as of last month from a year ago. This is 12% below the peak of $31,095 in April 2022.

Also, the average cost of a luxury car also fell from $62,384 in December to $60,978 in January, according to the Kelly Blue Book report. This was the lowest average transaction price since 2021, according to a release from Cox Automotive.

For all-battery electric vehicles, the average cost stood at $55,353, down by 10.8% year over year, which is mainly due to the recent price cuts from Tesla.

While the drop is relatively modest, analysts expect the prices to keep falling in 2024, for new vehicles, as availability grows. For used vehicles, the prices are expected to fall until spring after which they may slightly rise as the peak buying season resumes.

The price slowdown can be attributed to the expanded inventory of vehicles that dealers have gotten after years of severe shortages, according to a PBS report. As more cars are available, the pressures that had sent prices surging have cooled down allowing dealers to offer better deals.


The Cox Automotive release suggests that American dealers had 2.61 million new cars, trucks, and SUVs on their lots, which is in stark contrast to the supply a year ago which was just about 1.74 million.

However, the inventories of new autos are still below the roughly 4 million level that prevailed before the pandemic. However, the rising availability suggests that prices could further cool down in 2024 and it could be the most affordable year (of the past three years) to buy a new vehicle.

While the average price of vehicles is showing signs of cooling down, the cost of motor vehicle insurance has risen significantly. In January, the cost of motor insurance rose 1.4% every month and the rise has been 20.6% over the past year, the largest since 1976, according to The New York Times.


This was earlier projected to get worse due to several contributing factors such as increasing costs for labor and parts to repair damaged vehicles, declining demand from reinsurers, and an acute shortage of mechanics in the US.