MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


DWYM: Watch out for steep SUV, truck prices

Steep SUV prices
Posted at 5:40 AM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-05 06:46:30-04

The pandemic housing market forced so many families to pay much over list price for a home.

But now, car buyers are facing the same surcharges with new SUVs.

Have you been shopping for a new SUV or truck lately?

Forget haggling over that sticker price. Now, many buyers are paying more than window sticker price.

The new car shortage shows no signs of letting up, leaving car buyers like Aurelia Gilliam finding nearly barren dealer lots.

"A lot of them are empty," she said.

And when you do find a hot vehicle, its price can be thousands above MSRP.

"When I asked about the price, they showed me what the sticker was, and I saw that they had added another $10,000 over the sticker," said Paul Johnson, who was stunned by a huge "market adjustment" over his new Escalade's MSRP. "They told me that was what they were able to get for the car, because it is in such high demand."

Johnson doesn't want to name the dealer to avoid ruining his relationship.

He finally negotiated, but still paid well over sticker.

"It's insane, really," he said. "You pay sticker, no negotiation, if you don’t like it they will sell it to the next person."

The best way to avoid running into this situation right now?

Try not to buy one of the most in-demand vehicles right now, such as full size, four-row SUVs.

"Smaller vehicles, economy cars, traditional sedans, they haven't been hot for years," said Karl Brauer, an analyst at "So that's where you want to go if you want to save some money."

Brauer says vehicles with the highest average markups include:

  • Jeep Wrangler: $9,000 over sticker.
  • GMC Yukon: $7,000 over sticker.
  • Kia Telluride: $5,000 over sticker.
  • Hyundai Palisade: $4,000 over sticker.

It's not price gouging, because the sticker is only a "suggested price."

Dealers expect supplies for new vehicles to improve a bit this winter, when fewer people shop for cars, but the parts shortages are expected to continue into next year. As always don't waste your money.