Spring 2024 Car Market Update: New and Used Car Forecast

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Last updated Feb 28, 2024

Spring car buying season is already upon us, bringing with it a mix of challenges and opportunities for car shoppers. We spoke to CarEdge Co-Founder Ray Shefska to see what he’s thinking about the auto market ahead. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your ride, or simply curious about the current automotive landscape, this CarEdge update has you covered. Let’s dive into the latest data and trends to help you make informed decisions, no matter what your preferred set of wheels may be.

New Car Market Spring Update

car market update spring 2024

The Spring of 2024 is shaping up to be an interesting time for new car buyers. “Automakers are stuck with billions of dollars of inventory that they can’t sell. One of the main culprits for this oversupply is high interest rates,” noted Ray. With an average new car loan rate sitting at 9.96% APR as of January, and used car rates even higher at 14.25%, it’s clear that financing costs remain a significant hindrance for many. However, the landscape is changing, with more attractive financing options emerging for buyers willing to search for them. 

Remarkably, 13.7% of new car loans were financed at APRs below 3% in February according to the latest update from Cox Automotive. This is a substantial increase from just a few months prior.

Despite this, zero percent APR deals remain rare, but they’re out there for qualified buyers with great credit. Last month, zero percent APR auto loans accounted for only 3% of new car loans. Yet, we see great 0% APR offers from Ford, Hyundai, Nissan, and others. Check out our guide to the best deals.

The message is clear: for those looking to buy new, now is the time to hunt for those low APR offers. Don’t expect to stumble onto one. See the best financing and cash offers this month.

Inventory Is Rising

cars with the most inventory 2024

Ray is quick to point out that inventory has flipped from 2021’s severe shortage to 2024’s massive oversupply. “Now you have high supply and dwindling demand. Normally, that means dealers will be willing to work with you on a better deal. There’s room to negotiate that didn’t exist a few years ago.”

Inventory levels are also making headlines, with 2.66 million new cars available for sale in America, marking a 49% increase from last year. This surplus, an 82-day supply, signals a buyer’s market for the first time since 2020. This is especially true for brands like Chrysler, Jaguar, Jeep, Ram, and Dodge, which boast inventory levels more than double the national average. 

Here’s a look at the new car brands with the highest inventory today:

MakeMarket Day SupplyTotal For Sale (New)

In contrast, brands like Honda, Toyota, Kia, Subaru, and Lexus find themselves on the other end of the spectrum, with the lowest supplies. However, we’ve come to expect this from the popular Asian brands, especially post-pandemic.

These are the new car brands with the lowest inventory today:

MakeMarket Day SupplyTotal For Sale (New)

The Used Car Conundrum

used car market update 2024

The used car market tells a different story. Although used car inventory levels are 6% higher than where the market stood in early 2023, things seem to be returning to our new normal. Used car prices remain far higher than historical norms, but prices have gradually come down over the past year. We track used car prices weekly here.

Ironically, you can blame the NEW car market for used car price woes. The average price paid for a new car in 2024 is $48,000, which is 48% higher than one decade ago. 

Resale values are closely tied to used car prices for obvious reasons. Volatility in resale prices has been on the rise, with some segments (such as EVs and luxury crossovers) depreciating much more rapidly than just a few years ago. The result is more drivers holding on to their cars instead of selling them in today’s used car market. 

Another result of volatile used car prices is dealer’s hesitation to take on new used inventory at wholesale auctions. Ray noted that “Floorplanning costs are high, and the smart money often realizes that there’s too much risk with taking on more used inventory if used car values are fluctuating so much.” In other words, when dealers turn away used inventory, prices are artificially kept at higher levels. That’s not good for used car buyers, but is a well-known strategy among car sellers.

Ray’s Spring 2024 Buying Advice

2024 Subaru Outback - white

For those eyeing a new car this spring, our advice is to steer clear of market adjustments, and be willing to hunt for low APR offers. It’s becoming a buyer’s market for most makes and models, offering a prime opportunity to negotiate favorable deals, even among brands traditionally known for tight inventory. 

Brands like Mazda, Subaru, and Nissan stand out as representing fair value in today’s market.

New Car Market Rating

It’s a fine time to buy a new car. With rising inventory levels and attractive financing options, buyers are in a strong position to negotiate great deals.

Used Car Market Rating

It’s a difficult time to buy a used car. The combination of high new car prices, volatile used car values, and cautious dealership inventory strategies makes finding a good deal on a used car more challenging than usual. And then there are the used car loan rates, which remain at 20-year highs.

In conclusion, the Spring 2024 car market offers a mixed bag of opportunities and challenges. For new car buyers, the time is ripe to leverage high inventory levels and low APR financing deals. On the flip side, used car shoppers will need to navigate a more complex market with caution. As always, being informed and prepared is key to making the best decision for your situation. 

Remember, your CarEdge consumer advocates are always here to offer assistance. Learn more about how we can help. Don’t forget to download your free car buying guides below!

Free Car Buying Help Is Here

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Ready to outsmart the dealerships? Download your 100% free car buying cheat sheets today. From negotiating a deal to leasing a car the smart way, it’s all available for instant download. Get your cheat sheets today!

1 Comment

  1. Ron Dankmyer

    Troubling is the launch of the CX 70 from Mazda. The price point for the model interferes with the CX 90. Not sure how well this will be received with the CX 70 as it’s identical (with the exception of 2 row seating) to the CX 90.


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