While October is typically associated with an overabundance of sweets and the outlandish lawn decor that signals Halloween’s arrival, shoppers looking for a new vehicle might find lingering inventory constraints and paltry new-car discounts to be more reminiscent of Mischief Night. Even as new-vehicle production showed modest improvements, ongoing challenges including elevated new-car prices, reduced incentives and rising interest rates continue to lurk in the shadows — yet it’s not all doom and gloom if you’re looking to upgrade your vehicle in the coming weeks: Generous trade-in values and a handful of new-car deals may get you out of a tricky situation.
Reduced incentives continue to haunt shoppers in search of a good deal. According to J.D. Power’s most recent sales report, the average incentive was $936 in September — the fifth month in a row where the average was below $1,000. That equates to 2% of the average new vehicle’s MSRP and is down 47.8% compared to the same time in 2021. As a result, new-car prices continue their upward creep: The average price was estimated at $45,622 for September, up 6% compared to the same time a year previously. Meanwhile, new-car interest rates are also on the rise, reaching an average of 5.7%.
The set of vehicles below can take some of the chill out of the car-shopping experience with above-average cash discounts and below-average special financing rates for qualified shoppers. Additionally, your current vehicle’s trade-in value can help offset the frightening new-car price trend: According to J.D. Power, the average trade-in equity for September was projected at $9,617, up almost 22% from the same time in 2021.