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Buying a new car is expensive, especially if you’re in the market for a popular new car like the 2021 Ford Bronco or even the Kia Telluride. In fact, according to Autotrader, both new cars are being sold for over list price. The good news is that there are still bargains to be had when shopping for a new car. So instead of buying a new car being sold for over list price? You might want to consider buying one of these cheaper alternatives instead.

How much do car dealerships mark up new cars?

Two men on a car dealership lot
Car Dealership | Getty Images/Bob Riha, Jr.

How much dealerships mark up new vehicles is an important question to be asking when you’re shopping for a new car. Before answering this question, however, it’s important to understand what goes into determining the price of a new car.

First, you need to understand what a car’s invoice price is. This is the price the car dealership paid for the vehicle after it arrived from the factory, Autotrader reports. While some high-volume dealers may get a price break on a car’s invoice price, that price is typically a fixed amount. Car dealer markup, on the other hand, is the price car dealerships tack on to the invoice price of a car.

These days, car dealerships are tacking quite a lot on to the price of new cars too. In fact, dealerships across the U.S. are jacking up the costs of new vehicles to the tune of $10,000 and even $20,000, Torque News reports. According to the publication, the markup on new cars can be attributed to a shortage of microprocessor chips, electric car batteries, and even tires. 

A 2021 Chrysler Pacifica parked in a driveway
2021 Chrysler Pacifica | Stellantis

As for those new cars that are being sold for over list price? The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is one of them, Autotrader reports. Though, it should come as no surprise that the Pacifica is in such high demand. After all, this new minivan boasts a flexible interior, a long list of family-friendly features, and according to Autotrader, is the best family hauler in the business.

But if you’re not willing to pay over the list price for this new minivan? Autotrader suggests taking a gander at the Honda Odyssey. This year’s model starts at $32,390 and, much like its Chrysler competition, boasts a family-friendly interior with plenty of tech-savvy features. There are also roughly three times as many new Honda Odysseys listed on Autotrader than Pacifica models. Several show discounts off of the minivan’s list price, too, Autotrader reports.

Missed out on the 2021 Ford Bronco? Buy the Jeep Wrangler instead

A 2021 Ford Bronco climbing a trail, the Bronco is a new car being sold over list price
2021 Ford Bronco | Ford

Have you heard about the 2021 Ford Bronco? Of course, you have. Who hasn’t? This new SUV is in very high demand. So much so that if you didn’t order one before it hit dealerships earlier this summer, chances are you’ll be waiting for quite a while before getting your hands on one. And if you do happen to come across a new Ford Bronco? Many Ford dealerships are asking for $15,000 or more over the new SUV’s list price, Autotrader reports.

But if you choose the 2021 Jeep Wrangler instead? The odds are that you won’t be paying quite as much as you would have if you’d stuck with the new Ford Bronco. In fact, not only does this year’s new Jeep Wrangler start at $28,900, but several new Jeep Wranglers are listed on Autotrader for less than a new Ford Bronco. If you’d rather not pay over the list price for a new car, that certainly positions the Jeep Wrangler as a cheaper alternative to the Ford Bronco.   

The Chevy Traverse is a cheaper alternative to the 2021 Kia Telluride 

A green 2021 Kia Telluride driving down an empty road, the Telluride is a new three-row SUV
2021 Kia Telluride | Kia

The Ford Bronco isn’t the only new car being sold for over list price. The 2021 Kia Telluride is in a similar position, Autotrader reports. Though, that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. The Kia Telluride is a new three-row SUV under $40,000. It offers up plenty of space, interior amenities, and safety features. It’s also an IIHS Top Safety Pick for the 2021 model year. 

But if you’re in the market for an alternative to the Kia Telluride? Autotrader reports that the Chevy Traverse makes for a cheaper option. While the 2021 Kia Telluride starts at $32,790, the Chevy Traverse starts at $29,800. Much like the Telluride, the Traverse also offers plenty of space and interior amenities. 

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is hard to find, choose this new pickup instead

A silver 2021 Toyota Tacoma parked at the trailhead
2021 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

If you’re shopping for an affordable new truck, chances are you’ve got the 2021 Toyota Tacoma somewhere on your list. This year’s model starts at $26,400 and, at its most expensive, will only have you spending $44,325. The bad news is that the Toyota Tacoma is in extremely high demand and is one of many new cars being sold for over list price. For many, that makes buying a new model more expensive than their budget may allow.

The good news is that the 2021 Ford Ranger is easier to find, Autotrader reports. The even better news is that the new Ford Ranger is a cheaper alternative to the Toyota Tacoma and won’t have you spending more than $25,070 on a base model. The Ranger can also tow more than the Toyota Tacoma. In fact, while the Tacoma can tow up to 6,800-pounds, the new Ford Ranger boasts a max towing capacity of 7,500-pounds.

Should you pay more than list price for a new car?

It all depends. If you’ve got your heart set on a new SUV like the 2021 Ford Bronco and don’t mind paying up to $15,000 over the list price, then it may not be such a bad idea to pay over the list price for a new car. But if you’re hoping to get the best deal possible? Buying a new car that’s being sold for over the list price is probably a bad idea.


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