Things look bleak for anyone looking for a deal in today’s red-hot auto market. In January of this year, we saw reports that 82% of US buyers were paying more than the MSRP for a new car, and according to data from Edmunds, the highest average markup of $4,048 was found at Cadillac dealerships. What we didn’t know then was which models were leading the way in dealer markings. Now, thanks to a survey just out iSeeCars, we do. And, well… not a single Cadillac is in the top.
Let’s take a look at the list. It is numbered from top to bottom and includes the make and model, the percentage it lists above the MSRP, and the dollar amount it lists above the MSRP. Remember, these are averages, so your nearest dealer may be higher or lower than what you see here.
- Jeep Wrangler | 26.7% | $8,925
- Ford Maverick Hybrid | 25.0% | $5,601
- Porsche Macan | 23.3% | $13.254
- Jeep Wrangler Unlimited | 22.9% | $9,534
- Jeep Gladiator | 22.5% | $9,824
- Ford Maverick | 22.2% | $5,368
- Lexus RX 450h | 21.0% | $10,365
- Ford Bronco | 20.6% | $7,783
- Genesis GV70 | 20.0% | $8.611
- Mercedes-Benz Cap | 19.8% | $7,992
- Chevrolet Corvette | 19.3% | $15,218
- Ford Mustang | 19.1% | $6,941
- Mini Countryman | 18.9% | $6,325
- Lexus RX 350L | 18.6% | $9,242
- Mercedes-Benz GLA | 18.6% | $7,142
The same report from iSeeCars suggests that the average new car is currently priced 9.9% above MSRP, equating to a $3,753 bump over the sticker the car came with.
If you try to compare the data reported in January by: Edmunds and this latest information from iSeeCarsnote that Edmunds tracks average transaction prices and ranks results by brand, while iSeeCars tracks the prices at which dealers offer the cars for sale and ranks them by model. These are very different things. For example, some dealers may add optional services that can add up to a markup that savvy buyers might refuse to pay, resulting in a transaction price that’s less than the quoted price. Some dealers can apply a mark to the entire range, while others only add marks to the most popular models. In other words, there may still be a small amount of leeway, and your findings will certainly vary from dealer to dealer.
No matter which way you cut it, the days of expecting big discounts and tough bargaining may well be over, at least for the foreseeable future. Both surveys show that the majority of buyers pay slightly more than a sticker for the vehicle of their choice.
Looking at the actual data above, it’s clear to see that there is currently a demand for off-roaders, despite gas prices being higher than ever (excluding inflation). The Jeep Wrangler tops the list and the four-door Wrangler Unlimited isn’t far behind. The Jeep Gladiator also appears, a few spots above the Ford Bronco. That’s all somewhat surprising, considering the Bronco is a newer vehicle with pent-up demand from Ford enthusiasts.
Hybrid vehicles are also in demand, which is not surprising given the aforementioned gas prices. Hybrid versions of the Ford Maverick and the Lexus RX are apparently a hot item. The rest of the list is populated by in-demand crossovers and sports cars, all of which make sense.
What should you do about it? New car shortages are expected to continue due to sluggish demand, and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in plant closures and raw material price hikes. iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “The best way to avoid paying too much is to increase your search radius and consider similar vehicles that may not have the same price increase.”
It’s not all bad news. If you’re absolutely unwilling to pay sticker or higher, there are some vehicles that are sold at a discount, albeit at much smaller discounts than buyers scored a few years ago.