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Edmunds: Car shopping trends and tips for 2023

  • February 27, 2023

Shopping for a new or used car over the last few years has become a frustrating and expensive undertaking. Car shoppers have had to deal with vehicle shortages, high prices, dwindling incentives and rising interest rates. Will 2023 bring any relief? Yes and no.

“Many buyers exited the market due to inventory issues or pricing that was not what they were expecting,” said Ivan Drury, Edmunds’ senior manager of insights. “While some of those issues will subside for 2023, current buyers will face a new set of challenges. The cost of financing continues to climb, which can offset some of the discounts from the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.”

The experts at Edmunds have gathered five important issues you need to know about the current car-buying climate, plus tips on how to make the best of them.

INTEREST RATES ARE HIGH AND STILL RISING

According to Edmunds data, the average annual percentage rate, or APR, on new financed vehicles climbed to 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2022, up from 4.1% in Q4 2021. For used cars, the average APR climbed to 10% in the same timeframe, up from 7.4% in 2021. Experts are predicting that the Federal Reserve might have a couple more rate hikes in store for this year, so this situation isn’t likely to improve in the coming months.

Tip: Get preapproved for an auto loan with your local bank or credit union. A preapproval allows you to compare rates offered by a dealership. Lower APRs can be found through the automaker’s finance arms, though the loan may have a shorter term than expected. And while it might be tempting to take a longer loan term to drop the monthly payment, keep in mind that you’ll be paying more for the car over time due to the

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