Car ownership is no longer affordable in USA

Seattle Times
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For decades, car ownership has been a trademark of the American lifestyle, with vehicles becoming symbols of freedom, independence and even rebellion, as well as a necessity. But in 2024, the country’s legendary love story with the automobile appears to have reached a crucial point of potential no return, as cars have become unaffordable to millions.

Life has generally gotten more expensive in the aftermath of the pandemic, including the cost of cars, car insurance and car repairs.

Both new and used car prices rose to record highs during the pandemic, as the car industry was experiencing supply chain disruptions and chip shortages. Since 2020, new car prices have risen by 30 percent, according to data shared by AI car shopping app CoPilot with Newsweek. Within the same timeframe, used car prices have jumped by 38 percent.

In 2023—a year during which inflation slowed down to the point that the Federal Reserve decided to stop hiking rates—new car prices rose by 1 percent to an average of $50,364, while used car prices fell by only 2 percent to an average of $31,030.

But as things stand, cars are still really expensive for many Americans. Just 10 percent of new car listings are currently priced below $30,000, according to CoPilot. Things are not much better in the used car market, where only 28 percent of listings are currently priced below $20,000.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!