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Buying a new car, truck, or SUV right now sucks. As anyone who has driven past a car dealership in the past two years knows, the game is boogered. The car you actually want probably doesn’t exist, the cars you’ll settle for are insanely expensive, and there’s a sea of people willing to buy it as soon as you walk away. It’s a mess. Even though pickup truck production has begun to pick back up, prices are also picking up. However, of all the bad car deals right now, the worst deal on a new pickup truck is for the Ford Maverick, the cheapest pickup truck. Huh? 

Orange 2023 Ford Maverick on a Wilderness Trail - this is the cheapest truck of 2023, but that doesn't mean it can't get things done
Orange 2023 Ford Maverick on a Wilderness Trail | Ford

Can you buy a Ford Maverick right now? 

The short answer is no. Even if Ford Mavericks were available to purchase, which they aren’t, and won’t be until books for the 2024 Maverick open in July, they are also the most marked-up pickup truck on the market on average. 

According to an iSeeCars study that looked at 1.2 million new car listings, the Ford Maverick Hybrid, which is the base engine and the cheapest pickup truck on the market, is seeing, on average, a markup of 25%. This looks like about $5k+ over MSRP ($22,595) for dealer fees and “market adjustments.” This translates to, “This is popular, and if you want one, you gonna pay, sucka.” 

What are dealer markups? 

Dealer markups are essentially an extra cost tacked onto the MSRP of a new car added by the dealer to increase profits on a popular model. While this practice can be extremely annoying and even predatory, at times, the truth is, there isn’t all that much the OEMs can do about it. 

Some of the bigger makers warn dealers of grossly marking up popular cars and that their future allotments could be pulled if they don’t stop. However, this also hurts the OEM and isn’t done all that often. Dealers are independent businesses that can, within reason, do what they want. 

Have dealers always marked up cars? 

A Ford Motor Dealership parking lot full of trucks
Ford F-150 pickup trucks at a dealership | David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

While this has been in the news a lot over the past few years, the truth is this isn’t new. Sure, a headline like dealers charging $100k over MSRP is an unprecedented issue that we get to enjoy in our time of increasingly unprecedented stuff. However, dealers have been doing this for quite some time, and before the internet, it was just harder to catch wind of it. 

The reason dealers can get away with these markups is that for every one person who refuses to overpay, there is a pile of others who either don’t have a choice or don’t care about the extra cash. 

Hopefully, with inventory starting to pick up and lots getting fuller, the excuse of scarcity can go away, can buying a car can once again be something we only sort of hate.