With emptier dealer lots and relentlessly elevated new-car prices, shoppers are calling “Mayday.” Traditionally, the arrival of May signals the transition into summer and ushers in hot car deals in anticipation of the busy shopping season; however, this year’s summer months likely won’t look much different when it comes to new-car inventory and available incentives.
Related: Inventory Shortage Update: Should You Wait to Buy a Car?
With global supply chain disruptions showing no signs of simmering, inventory constraints are driving up the prices of new cars and limiting available deals. According to J.D. Power’s sales forecast, the average new-vehicle transaction price for April was estimated at $45,232 — just shy of the record-high $45,247 set in December. At the same time, incentives on new cars are shrinking: The average incentive was estimated at $1,034 in April — down 66% from 2021.
Luckily, help is on the way for shoppers who have a used vehicle to trade in. J.D. Power estimates the average trade-in equity for April was $9,668, a 72.1% increase from a year ago. Cars.com data shows a similar trend, with almost 60% of surveyed dealers estimating trade-in payouts up between 11% and 20% compared to the same time in 2020, and more than 1 in 3 reporting payouts greater than 20%. Customers concur — approximately two-thirds of car owners who traded in their vehicles received a higher offer than expected, about half of the respondents received more than $1,000 above their expected trade-in amount, and 20% reported receiving $3,000 or more.
Despite the overall trend of shrinking incentives, there are a handful of vehicles that still offer generous deals for May and several surpass the average incentive of 2.3% of MSRP estimated by J.D. Power. The following SUVs and pickup truck can accommodate planned summer adventures and pack lighter price tags this month.