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Published: Feb 18, 2022 4 min read
Mother and son examining a car in dealership
Money; Getty Images

Looking to buy a new car? Chances are high that you’ll need to shell out hundreds — in some cases, thousands — of dollars above the sticker price. You won’t find much relief in the used-car market, either.

Data from automotive research firm Edmunds show that an unprecedented 82% of new car buyers paid more than the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) in January, largely due to vehicle shortages and increased consumer demand. Buyers spent a record-high $728 above MSRP last month, on average.

“This is beyond abnormal and has never happened pre-pandemic,” says Ivan Drury, senior manager of insights at Edmunds.

Not long ago, dealerships often sold cars for $2,000 or more below the MSRP. But the latest sales data shows that it's routine for buyers to pay thousands over the sticker price for their cars.