A new year brings the promise of new beginnings and opportunities. While fitness or career goals are often prioritized, the ultimate goal for 2023 may be getting that new-car smell at an affordable price. Luckily, the inventory shortage is showing signs of abating, with vehicles spending more time on dealer lots and new-car markups on the decline. That bodes well for anyone prepping to take the plunge.
According to J.D. Power’s latest sales forecast, a new vehicle spent an average of 23 days at a dealership in December — up from 18 days the same time in 2021. Meanwhile, 37% of new vehicles are being sold above MSRP, down from 50% in July.
Even as inventory improves, however, average incentives have yet to rebound: J.D. Power estimates that the average incentive per vehicle was $1,187 in December — a 21% drop from 12 months before. That equates to 2.5% of the average vehicle MSRP — down 0.8 percentage points from December 2021. As a result, average new-car prices continue their ascent, the firm projecting they set another record high of $46,382 to close 2022 out.
It may be tempting to leave 2022 behind, but shoppers willing to forgo the latest 2023 models in favor of a 2022 variant will score the best deals among three of the four vehicles this month. A trio of SUVs and a pickup truck bring the most fruitful savings in January, making the new-car smell even sweeter. Read on for details.