Higher Interest Rates Mean Lower New Car Prices Won't Matter

Despite the fact new car prices are expected to come down, interest rates will make sure buyers don't get a break.

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There’s really no such thing as good news, or at least if there is, it comes with a price, literally. NBC News is reporting that new car prices may finally start to decline as 2022 wraps up, but higher interest rates will keep monthly payments pretty much the same.

While prices have come down a bit, J.D. Power’s September 2022 Sales Report still notes a record-making month in sales. The average new car price in September was 6.3 percent higher than September 2021, at $45,600 — landing as the fourth highest average price on record. The highest was recorded in July of this year.

According to Adam Jonas, chief auto analyst at Morgan Stanley, “deflation” may be around the corner for new car prices because sales have finally begun to taper off as well as a 17-month high in new vehicle availability.


“New cars may finally become more available just when most Americans can no longer afford them,” Jonathan Smoke, Cox Automotive chief economist, wrote. But with car loan interest rates reaching nearly six percent, and prices for new and used cars still higher than usual, some Americans are stuck.

Low income and low credit quality buyers are left completely out of the market because they simply cannot afford the loans they would need to purchase the vehicles. On the other end of the spectrum, luxury car buyers (rich folks) will still be there to buy up all the now more-expensive cars.


Analysts at Edmunds have suggested customers bite the bullet and go for larger monthly payments to keep overall cost down. Ivan Drury, Edmunds’ director of insights told NBC News that consumers need to consider the bigger picture when it comes to their car purchase.“It might be a hard pill to swallow to agree to a much larger monthly payment, but if your ultimate goal is to save money and stay out of the red, you could save yourself thousands of dollars by taking this step — just make sure that the monthly payment you agree to is still within your means.”