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Prices for new light trucks, which include pickups, vans, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), averaged 43% more than new cars in 2019. From 1990 to 1995, cars had a higher average price than light trucks. Likely due to the popularity of SUVs and high-end pickup trucks, the average price of light trucks grew from about $26,000 in 1990 to $38,000 in 2019, while average car prices declined slightly, from about $29,000 in 1990 to $27,000 in 2019. Price data are adjusted for inflation (constant 2019 dollars).

Average price of a new car and light truck from 1990 to 2019

Note: Prices were adjusted to account for inflation using the Consumer Price Index. Light trucks include classes 1-3. Average prices are estimated transaction prices based on sales for selected models. Prices are collected for the base price, destination charge, options, dealer preparation charges and applicable taxes and are adjusted for markups, dealer concession or discounts, and consumer rebates. Finance charges or finance incentives are excluded.

Sources: Cars – U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Underlying Detail, Motor Vehicle Output, 2020. Light trucks – Calculated using total new light truck expenditures from the National Income and Product Accounts and light truck sales from Ward’s Automotive.

Fact #1168 Dataset

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