While to some it might not feel like new car prices have dipped much recently, a new market study by Cox Automotive claims February was the most affordable theyve been in some time. This information has some wondering if nows the time to buy before theres a sudden change in the market.

New Dodge Chargers and Challengers are piling up at dealerships.

Using the Cox Automotive/Moodys Analytics Vehicle Affordability Index, the conclusion was drawn that new vehicles havent been this affordable since July 2021 or in 31 months. Note the term affordable instead of citing the average price of new cars.

But does this mean vehicles are actually getting cheaper? One of the measures Cox cites is the average car payment amount dipping 0.7% in February. It also claims the median for the number of weeks of income a shopper needs to purchase the average new car dropped from 37.4 weeks in January to 37.1 weeks in February.

All this doesnt necessarily mean vehicle prices have dropped, just monthly payments and how much those consume out of some peoples income. With more people working second and even third jobs just to make ends meet, thanks to everything from housing to food prices surging, this might not be the great news some are claiming it is.

By choosing which data points to cite, we can craft all kinds of stories about whats going on with the market. But lets face it, MSRP on a 2024 Toyota Corolla, what used to be referred to as an economy car, is $22,050. It wasnt that long ago you could pick up a base model for well under $20,000.

The same thing has happened across the car market. While used prices have come down, they seem to be falling less rapidly now, especially with those who lent money to the government free of interest using their tax returns to scoop up what they believe to be deals right now.

Image via Chevrolet

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