Survey Reveals – Desperate Americans are spending an extra $18,803 to secure car models they want

  • Limited stock means car buyers are having to compromise significantly.
  • 1 in 3 Americans have bought vehicles they don’t actually like, survey reveals.
  • Infographic showing survey results across the country.

As many Americans will be all too aware, the price of just about everything, including vehicles, has skyrocketed over the past year. Indeed, 2021 witnessed the largest 12-month increase for cars in the history of the consumer price index, and prices have continued to increase in 2022. While the market surge has been great for auto groups, potential buyers have found themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to make compromises on their purchases – either having to travel beyond state boundaries to find the one they have been looking for, or paying more than they had initially budgeted for, or accepting that they have to settle on a make and model that they did not want in the first place. 

Figures from a survey of 3,361 car owners commissioned by Quantrell Auto Group appear to confirm that car consumers are faced with either having to spend more; travel or compromise. First up, the survey revealed that 1 in 3 (35%) car owners in America reluctantly purchased models that they didn’t initially plan on acquiring. Those drivers who are not prepared to compromise and are holding out for their preferred option, say they are prepared to spend a significant 39% above the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) for their vehicle. Considering that the average new car in America sold for $48,043 in 2022 (the highest on record, and the first time it has gone above $48k), means that consumers are willing to spend a whopping $18,803 to secure their dream vehicle. 

When these figures were broken down by states, Alaska had the highest number of car owners who admitted they drive vehicles that they didn’t initially want in the first place (80%). Comparatively, this figure was just 11% in New Mexico, where it seems people are a bit more calculated when it comes to their car choices.

Infographic showing figures survey results across America

If you’re experiencing buyer’s remorse after purchasing a car and feel that the only way to alleviate this is to return the vehicle, you can be assured that this is not an impossible task, according to the experts at Quantrell Auto Group. Of course, you can’t return a car to the store as you would a t-shirt or pair of shoes, but it is possible to trade it in for a different one if you’re not happy. Here are 3 tips that they have provided that can help if you’re looking to trade in your car for a different one:

 1. Understand what factors can affect the trade-in value of your car.

As you rack up miles on your car, it could potentially incur minor damages, such as chips or scratches. These damages will result in a lower trade-in value, therefore, it’s important to be mindful of your driving habits. 

2. Wait until the depreciation slows before trading in your vehicle.

Depreciation is a factor that unfortunately, cannot be stopped. However, it’s a good idea to wait around three years into your car ownership, as this is which a car’s depreciation rate tends to slow. For many cars, after the three-year mark, you’ll have a better chance of regaining the most value when trading it in. However, if you do this too soon, you may lose more money and if you do this too long after the three-year mark, you may lose out due to more miles having accumulated on the vehicle. 

3. Conduct sufficient research into the price of used cars of similar nature.

Make sure you know what’s going on in the automotive market if you’re looking to trade in your car. This will ensure that you maximize the value you earn back on the car and don’t undervalue it. Brentley Jones of Quantrell Auto Group says: “Across the U.S., and even in our town of Lexington, dealers have been up-charging customers who come from out of state, pay the full list price in cash and do not finance, or come without a trade-in. At our dealership, we don’t believe in such markups. We’re committed to finding every customer a ride that suits their lifestyle for a competitive price that reflects their budget.” Also, be mindful of the kind of car you’d like next and make sure it would be a worthwhile trade-in.

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