Things look bleak out there for anyone looking for a deal in today’s red-hot automotive market. Back in January of this year, we saw reports that 82% of American buyers paid over MSRP for a new car, and according to data provided by Edmunds, the highest average markup of $4,048 was found at Cadillac dealers. What we didn’t know at the time was which models were leading the way in dealership markups. Now, thanks to a study just out from iSeeCars, we do. And, well … there isn’t a single Cadillac in the top.
Let’s take a look at the list. It’s numbered top to bottom and includes the make and model, the percentage it’s listed over MSRP, and the dollar amount it’s listed over MSRP. Remember, these are averages, so your nearest dealership 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 GLB | 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% over MSRP, equaling a $3,753 bump over the sticker the car shipped with.
If you’re trying to compare the data reported in January by Edmunds and this latest information from iSeeCars, note that Edmunds is tracking average transaction prices and ranking the results by brand while iSeeCars is tracking the prices at which dealers listed the cars for sale and ranking them by model. These are very different things. For instance, some dealers may include optional services that can add to a markup that savvy buyers could refuse to pay, resulting in a transaction price that’s lower than the listed price. Some dealers may apply a markup across the entire range, while others may only add markups to the most popular models. In other words, there may still be a small amount of wiggle room, and your findings will surely vary from dealer to dealer.
No matter which way you slice it, though, the days of expecting big discounts and heavy negotiations may well be over, at least for the foreseeable future. Both of these studies indicate that the majority of buyers are paying something over sticker for the vehicle of their choice.
Looking over the actual data above, it’s clear to see that off-roaders are currently in demand, despite the fact that gas prices are higher than they’ve ever been (disregarding inflation, that is). The Jeep Wrangler leads the list, and the four-door Wrangler Unlimited isn’t far behind. The Jeep Gladiator shows up, too, a few spots above the Ford Bronco. All of that is somewhat surprising, considering that the Bronco is a newer vehicle with pent-up demand from Ford lovers.
Hybrid vehicles are also in demand, which isn’t surprising given the aforementioned gas prices. Hybrid versions of the Ford Maverick and the Lexus RX are apparently a hot commodity. 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 persist due to the backlog of demand, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict has led to factory shutdown and pricing increases on raw materials,” says iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “The best way to avoid paying over sticker is to broaden your search radius and to consider similar vehicles that may not have the same degree of price hike.”
It’s not all bad news. If you’re absolutely unwilling to pay sticker or above, there are some vehicles that are selling for a discount, albeit much smaller discounts than buyers were scoring a few years ago.