The prices of both new and used vehicles are rising at an alarming rate. In fact, car prices are some of the fastest-rising components of the consumer price index. Those who own reliable cars can delay their purchase of a new car, and the best used car brand in America is Lexus. (And this is the best-selling car of 2022†
Why do car prices keep rising? Shortages in the supply chain, especially for the microchips used in vehicle electronics and navigation systems, have limited the speed at which cars can be produced. Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, recently said that chip shortages will continue well into next year. The problem is so serious that some assembly lines have been taken offline. Buyers can wait months for the models they want.
Car dealers have taken advantage of the situation and some are charging more than the price suggested by the manufacturer. This has angered auto companies, who have even threatened to withhold supplies in order to punish these dealers.
As the prices of new cars rise, people have turned to used cars as an alternative. As is the case with most supply and demand cases, this has also caused used car prices to rise. Some consumers have decided that the price for both new and used cars is too high. They have chosen to hold onto their vehicles for another year or two. The average age of a car on the road in America has risen to 12 years. †This is the longest-lived car on the road†
Research into the quality of used cars is not as readily available as that of new cars. However, a recent Consumer Reports “How to find the best used car at the right price?The study looked at cars, SUVs and light trucks from the 2017 model year. This period was chosen so that potential buyers can look at vehicles after five years of depreciation.
The primary metric Consumer Reports used was “reliability.” This was determined by a combination of fuel economy, repair history, customer satisfaction and the safety systems for each model. Safety features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and blind spot warning.
The study then rated brands and rated them on a scale of 100 to zero, based on the reliability of each brand’s evaluated models. To find the best used car in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Consumer Reports study and ranked the brands by their reliability score, from lowest to highest.
The highest-rated brand was Lexus, Toyota’s luxury car brand. It received a score of 91, based on the individual rating of five of its models.
GMC, the worst performing brand, received a score of just 26, based on data for seven of its models.
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