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It’s tax season. For millions of Americans, that means a tax return and a little extra cash. However, your tax return might not do much to put you in a new car in 2024. With the swollen price of a new luxury or sensible car in the United States, even an above-average return will be a drop in the bucket. 

The average tax return isn’t going to do much to buy a new car in 2024

April 15th is the due date for most tax filings in the United States of America. Depending on their withholdings, sources of income, and tax bracket, taxpayers will receive a return. Unfortunately, the average return for 2022 was less than the two previous years. 

Specifically, the average tax return for the 2022 period was $2,753, per Time. Conversely, the average return for 2021 and 2020 was $3,012 and $2,865, respectively. In fact, the last time the average return was below the 2022 benchmark was 2018. As such, the average return for the 2023 tax year will likely be on par with the last few years. 

A red 2024 Nissan Versa, one of the new cars with the lowest price, parks outside.
The 2024 Nissan Versa is one of the few new cars with a sub-$20,000 price tag | Nissan

Unfortunately, that means the average return won’t come close to helping today’s car buyer score the keys to a new vehicle. For instance, the average price of a new car in the United States in 2024 is around $48,759, per Cox Automotive. As such, even a $3,000 tax return isn’t going to do much to help Americans buy the average new SUV. Of course, $3,000 will certainly lower the average monthly payment on a newer car, truck, or SUV.

On the other hand, car prices were down around 2.4% year over year by December of 2023. And, of course, not every American will be vying for a 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser or a BMW X5. A $3,000 return could cover quite a bit of a new 2024 Nissan Versa or a Mitsubishi Mirage. Especially considering both economy cars start well under the $20,000 mark.