For the first time in nearly two years, the new car average sale prices fell below the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). The average transaction price paid for a new vehicle in the United States declined in March 2023 to $48,008, according to Kelley Blue Book data. That’s a month-over-month decrease of 1.1%. This means that consumers paid less than the sticker price displayed on the window.

“Right now, in-market consumers are finding more inventory, more choice and dealers more willing to deal, at least with some brands,” said Rebecca Rydzewski, auto-industry researcher at Kelley Blue Book’s parent firm Cox Automotive.

According to their data, non-luxury buyers paid an average of $44,182. Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, and Volkswagen all saw their average price decline in March. Honda and Kia dealers still charged an average of 3% to 6% over sticker price. Their research also found that luxury buyers saw less of an improvement. They paid an average of $65,202.

New cars now average over $48,000 before taxes and fees. There are still new cars available for less than the average cost. As of May 2023, there are only three new vehicles that would cost $20,000 or less.

However, all three of these cars are small sedans with minimal cargo space and efficient gas mileage.

Take a look at the only 3 new cars under $20,000 or less.

  • Kia Rio: starting at $17,875

    The Kia Rio subcompact sedan starts at $17,875 and the Rio5 hatchback at $18,515. Both front-wheel-drive models come standard with a 120 hp four-cylinder engine, automatic transmission, air conditioning, and a highway fuel economy rating of 41 mpg.

  • Mitsubishi Mirage/ Mirage G4: starting at $17,340

    The Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback starts at $17,340 and the Mirage G4 sedan is just $1,000 more. its three-cylinder engine rated at just 76 horsepower — and the most-efficient non-hybrid vehicle, with the hatchback getting an EPA combined rating of 39 mpg.

  • Nissan Versa starting at $16,925

    The Nissan Versa sedan is priced at $16,925. It is roomy for the price and has a 122 hp four-cylinder under the hood, a standard 5-speed manual transmission, automatic emergency brakes, and a five-star NHTSA crash test rating. Models equipped with an automatic transmission start at $18,595 and have a 40 mpg highway fuel economy rating. A fully loaded version with adaptive cruise control, heated seats, and a wireless charging pad tops out at $20,215.

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