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A 3/4 profile view of a red pre-production 2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series SUV parked with mountains in the background.

If You Are Car Shopping, These Car Brands Have the Biggest Markup

Car shopping in 2022 is brutal. There are inventory shortages, component shortages, supply chain issues, and now, dealership markup to contend with. These are the brands that have the biggest price markup over MSRP, avoid them and a good deal can still be had on your new car.

Car shopping in 2022 is crazy. There are inventory shortages, component shortages, factory shut-downs, and supply chain issues. None of this is good news for car buyers who have to deal with low inventory levels and dealerships marking up prices. 

There is also a shift from manufacturers to allocate their limited resources to the most expensive models and trim levels. Those high-end models and trims are the most profitable, so if you’re on a budget and looking for a lower-spec model, your options are limited even further. Dealerships are not helping the situation and are taking advantage of the current car shopping climate to add markups that vary from market adjustment to just plain gouging.

Edmunds has compiled car buying data from January 2022 and found which brands have the biggest applied markups. They have also found a few brands where good deals can still be had. Here’s the data and what it means for your car shopping odyssey.

The brands with the biggest dealership markups

A 3/4 profile view of a red pre-production 2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series SUV parked with mountains in the background.
2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series | Cadillac

Edmunds collected information on how much actual buyers paid for new vehicles, on average across the entire brand, and then compared that to the average MSRP. That shows how much over or under MSRP the average buyer is paying for a specific brand of car.

The brand with the biggest markup over MSRP is Cadillac. The average Cadillac buyer paid slightly more than $4,000 above MSRP to get a new car. That is followed by Land Rover at $2,500 over MSRP and KIA at $2,289.

Cadillac and Land Rover are both premium brands with popular products, so having them appear atop the rankings is not very surprising. KIA, in the third spot, is a bit of a surprise. We usually associate the Korean brand with budget-friendly offerings, but their massive lineup of cars, crossovers, and SUVs have all been updated and restyled recently. That has led to surging demand.

Where are the deals?

A 3/4 front view of a red 2022 Alfa Romeo Giulia driving on a race track with a blurred background.
2022 Alfa Romeo Giulia | Alfa Romeo

According to Edmunds, six brands had average car sale prices below MSRP. The brand with which you can score the best deal right now is Alfa Romeo, with an average of $3,421 savings below MSRP. Volvo follows them at $869 below MSRP and Lincoln at $510 below MSRP.

Ram, BMW, and MINI complete the brands with an average sale price below MSRP, so if you’re on the hunt for a good deal, those are the best options. It is important to note that this is an average of all models and trims across a specific brand. High-end, popular, and special models will still likely carry a mark-up over MSRP, as seen with the new Ford Bronco.

However, if you don’t have your sights set on a specific, highly sought-after model, there are still deals to be had.

The full list of vehicle brands and the average dealership markup

Here is the full list, compiled by Edmunds, of the car brands that have the biggest dealership markups. The table also shows which brands have below MSRP deals. This information was gathered in January 2022.

MakeAverage MSRPActual Transaction PriceDifference
Land Rover$87,457$90,022$2,565
Alfa Romeo$54,644$51,223-$3,421
Industry Average$44,989$45,717$728

Here’s what this means for you if you are currently car shopping

An image of the front of Savage 61 Chrysler Dodge Jeep Dealership. The images show the building and a selection of Jeeps parked in front.
Savage 61 Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Dealership | Ben Hasty via Getty Images

I think it is important to reiterate that the data collected by Edmunds is an average of the sales of all models within a specific brand. It doesn’t mean that you can walk into a dealership and expect to score a deal on an Alfa Romeo for $3,421 less than MSRP. It suggests that demand for Alfa’s is low enough that the dealerships are willing to negotiate to make a sale. 

The same principle applies to the top end of the list. The markups experienced at Cadillac are an average of all of the sales within that brand for January. It doesn’t mean that every car will have a $4,000 markup. If you’re shopping for the ever-popular Escalade, expect a markup, but a vehicle that is in less demand, like the standard CT4, may have a more reasonable price.

The bottom line is this, Edmunds‘ data shows brands that are in high demand and also those that are experiencing supply issues. Knowing how much a dealership may mark up a vehicle can help you budget for that new car purchase or steer you toward a brand that might have better deals. Car shopping is never easy, but the more information you have, the better equipped you will be to get the car, truck, and SUV you want at the price you can afford.

Related: Ford Threatens to Cut Dealer Inventories to Demolish Price Markups


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