New-car shoppers have been hit with a slew of challenges in recent months: low inventory, record-high prices and rising interest rates, to name a few. While time is said to heal all wounds, the inventory shortage has now dragged into the second half of the year, and it’s clear the auto industry needs even more time to recover — yet timing can be an advantage this month for shoppers who choose a vehicle with above-average incentives and capitalize on elevated used-car trade-in values.
Early predictions that the inventory shortage might improve by the first half of 2022 haven’t materialized. According to J.D. Power’s latest sales report, many new cars are snatched off dealer lots as soon as they arrive, with 55% of cars sold within 10 days and the average vehicle spending only 19 days on the lot versus 29 days the same time a year ago. Such demand comes in spite of rising new-car prices: The average vehicle transaction price was projected to reach $45,869 — up 12% from July 2021. Meanwhile, substantial automaker incentives are still few and far between: The average incentive for July was estimated at $894 — down nearly 55% from a year ago.
Despite elevated gas prices, shoppers are still flocking to SUVs and pickup trucks, which together comprised nearly 80% of all new vehicles sold in July. While the average incentives for the two came in at an average of $900, the four vehicles listed below all surpass this amount to land a spot on our best deals roundup.