New-Car Purchase Price Speeds to Record High

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Demand for pricier light trucks is putting a strain on the used-vehicle market.

Americans are spending a record amount of money — $34,077 on average — to hit the road in a brand-new car or truck.

That’s a 2.7 percent increase from 2015’s average new-vehicle purchase price, and a whopping 12.6 percent jump from 2011, according to Edmunds.com. The average purchase price of a new car in 2017 is expected to top $35,000.

An increase in the sales of light-duty trucks — which Edmunds says now make up 62 percent of the new car market — is driving the rising price of a new-vehicle purchase. Light trucks are typically more expensive than passenger cars.

Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis, says in a statement:

“Although automakers have ushered in a crop of smaller, lower-priced vehicles, strong market demand for SUVs and trucks have caused overall prices to rise. This is yet another example of how trucks and SUVs are driving change in the market and influencing every part of the industry.”

Unfortunately, Americans’ increased demand for pricier light trucks is putting additional strain on the used-vehicle market. Caldwell explains:

“The flip side of this trend is that higher prices are putting a bit of a squeeze on the market for lower-cost, used vehicles. Our data shows that more people are looking for affordable older vehicles [on Edmunds.com] than are actually sold, driving up values and demand.”

In the market for a new car? Check out “11 Essential Tips for Buying the Right Car at the Right Price.”

Are you surprised by how much money Americans are spending on new vehicles? Sound off below or on Facebook.

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