Buyers these days are relatively dissatisfied with the automotive market, for more reasons than one. As negative as that might sound, I can’t help but empathize with all the shoppers out there who’ve endured the ongoing pitfalls of the automotive world. Expensive MSRPs. Limited inventories. Vanishing discounts. To top it all off, now every automaker is pushing consumers toward expensive EVs at a time when the real cost of ownership is at an all-time high. Frankly, one might wonder when this overpriced market will cease to exist. And as forecasts show, the price of new cars as well as the cost to repair them show no signs of easing up. For those who have bravely faced the music this year and purchased a new vehicle in 2022, I’m curious to know — Are you driving your dream car?
Are dream cars still attainable in today’s market?
A recent trip to the dealership sparked my curiosity and genuine interest in consumer opinion. Just how content can shoppers really be with the lack of options? While I understand not every driver walks into a dealership in search of their “dream car”, one could assume that most aren’t choosing to pay top dollar for something that they don’t love, (or at least like).
In today’s inflated market, the cost of buying a new vehicle is by far the most pressing perquisite on all accounts. Forget upholstery choices. Forget interior lighting. The modern buyer needs to be savvy about their buying decision, no matter how much of a down payment they’ve saved. In any case, I hope that drivers are taking the time and doing the research to out smart the current system. Perhaps investing in a new or used model that holds its value for longer than a few years.
All things considered, as I sat in the waiting room and glanced through an assortment of seemingly nice SUV models, it came to mind that today’s dream car is more likely the one that won’t cost you an arm and a leg but still has enough going for it to be worth the investment. It may not have all the added features, but its safety is top-notch (and standard) all while including sufficient comforts in the interior cabin.
From a frugal buyer’s perspective, a dream car may have an entirely new meaning, particularly one that doesn’t involve spending too much without sacrificing much as well. With less time to negotiate or pick and choose your features, modern buyers are scouting out the best that’s available with some wiggle room regarding price.
Some cars are marked up 24% over asking price, the average is 10%
In current times, you’re simply not getting behind the wheel of any new car, let alone your dream car, unless you’re willing to pay above asking price. While this is a reality we’ve known for some time, it seems not all drivers will turn a blind eye. Instead, they are opting to compromise.
Surprisingly, a new study mentioned in CarandDriver showed that buyers, although a bit disgruntled, are actually willing to cough up a little extra to avoid waiting for a new car. Nearly 40% of shoppers are willing to pay 12% over asking price, which equates to around $5,000 total.
Whether this be a sign of the times or mere desperation, drivers haven’t completely given up. In fact, it seems a large portion have just found a comfortable median between overspending and spending just enough to get what they want. In a way, that approach is new dream car. Attainable yet advantageous.
As I paid my service bill and set my sights on the exit door, I quickly realized the automotive world, although not what it used to be, has become a place of give and take. While automakers are certainly taking advantage of consumers right now, mostly in an effort to build funding for electric production, the consequences of COVID did shake up the industry in a way that is both good and bad. It’s fair to claim pandemic times revolutionizing the way we purchase vehicles and urged automakers to make progressive changes for the future. Right now, one of the biggest changes, and yet challenges, drivers will continue to embrace is the fine-line between practical and worthy.
What do you think of the current market? Is it worth spending extra to get your dream car?