KSL INVESTIGATES

Car prices coming back to Earth. Is now a good time to buy?

Sep 6, 2023, 6:23 AM | Updated: 6:41 am

Two years ago, car dealers had very limited inventory and, when they did get cars, they flew into the hands of people needing one. It left customers with few options and often having to pay more.

What a difference a few years makes.

New data from iseecars.com shows that used cars are taking an average of 49 days to sell and new cars take an average of 23 days to sell. That’s a slowdown of 26 percent compared to last year. 

“This is really the best we’ve been since COVID started,” says I See Cars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer.

He says the slowdown is good news for consumers who are seeing the price of cars come back to earth.“Now’s the time to buy a car if you waited a long time, and your car is really in trouble and really deteriorating rapidly,” he said. “For a lot of people that is the case. They wanted a new car two, three years ago, and they couldn’t justify the price.”That said, Brauer says he expects prices to come down even more. So, if you’ve waited this long, it may behoove you to hold off a tad longer.“You can buy now and it’s not a terrible time to buy. You can wait another year and it will probably be a slightly better time to buy,” he said.

Looking deeper into the numbers, one bit of data stands out: In the Salt Lake City market, the list of top-5 fastest-selling new cars are all Hyundai’s.

“I don’t think I’ve seen the top five vehicles be Hyundai’s anywhere, he said. “That is unique to Salt Lake.Brauer says that Hyundai’s are generally seen as high-value cars so, in a world of high-inflation and now-higher-interest rates, consumers are looking for that extra value.

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Car prices coming back to Earth. Is now a good time to buy?