Middle class priced out of auto leasing / buying Market

Was thinking about this, no one is bringing this any attention, but the middle working class who barely have enough emergency funds set aside and live pay check to pay check are being priced out of the market on the vehicles once affordable to most. Leases on cars priced in the mid 20k to mid 30k are now costing $150-$350+ per month more on top of extreme inflation on gas prices, the middle working class is feeling the most burden on this chip shortage crisis. And it looks like it is going to last for the years to come, unless something drastically changes in the market place, middle class and those making just a basic salary will continue to be priced out of this market for a very long long time.


But there are used car options. So basically, you just keep going older until you find something that matches your budget.


If we bring it to attention whats that going to change?


Not really quite sure what the point of this post is?


These lamentations would benefit from actual statistics.

Roughly 1 out of 4 cars is leased (at its peak 1 of 3 were leased). The average transaction price is up roughly $5000 since shortages started. The average loan term is just shy of 72 months. So roughly $70/mo financed or $30/mo (plus insurance, gas, and maintenance) for middle class who replaced (say) an Accord for an Accord, and didn’t keep driving it (since the average car is roughly 12 years old now), and didn’t decide the Accord should be replaced with an Escalade because their first baby is on the way.

These same hypothetical people didn’t have to buy a new car during the worst period in history to do so, unless theirs was a total loss from an accident. Though historically low financing rates will offset some of the hurt.

Not enough coverage of the numerous, terrible, personal finance decisions made every single day, especially during this particular period of naval-gazing.


I remember reading somewhere that more than 50% of the vehicles in the NY Tri State area are leased.

People will just pay more, I guess.

Based on what? There is zero chance of this happening. Starting mid 2022 chip manufacturing will pick up drastically as there are many new pants nearing completion. Max this lasts another year and things will return to normal.

Also what you aren’t considering is a vast majority of people where already paying hundreds more per month then people on this site. Paying MSRP may be shocking to us but many people have been doing it for ever.


Casual conversations I have with non LH types indicates this is anecdotally true :frowning:


The second best way to maintain this lifestyle, after having children, is getting a new car every three years.


Car Market is very difficult and we don’t know when things will level off. Fuel prices are stupid high.
But this is not the only market that is struggling. Try to get a graphics card in today’s market, it is a much more disgusting situation.

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They may be paying more overall, but when you have no down payment and can only get qualified for a sub prime interest rate on a loan that lease payment starts to look better in the immediate future even though it isn’t the best option for someone’s overall financial position.

The lower payment today and for the next 3 years entices people to stay in the churn rather than purchasing something and holding on to it.

this point is moot. most of the “middle working class” received several rounds of stimmy over the past 18 months, which they should put to work on things like cars, rent and gas. if they chose not to, that’s their own problem.


Isn’t that stimmy pretty much wiped out when we consider the average cost per transaction is up +$5k?

I think the real mistake is not having any skin in the game with the stock market because even dart board stock picks would be up huge YOY.

Well, did you consider relaying your frustration with current economics of US to your representative / senator?


Which probably didn’t help with consumer prices, but hell, MMT tells us otherwise…

(gotta enjoy the topic before it gets landfilled or frozen)

I bought a Honda Monkey with my stimmy.


To assign a percentage to the lease increases, I would say leasing costs are 30-50% or more higher, which is considerable and impacts everyone who has a lease terminating between May 2021 and for most of 2022.

I’ll use an example within my extended family.

My daughter was able to lease a Hyundai Elantra Limited (pretty loaded, no Nav or sunroof) in Feb '21 for $180/mo w/ NJ taxes, DMV and 1st mo DAS. My sister leased a lower level Elantra from same dealer in July for the same DAS amounts, but her payment is just sub-$300. That’s over a 50% increase.

Based on this forum and seeing what other common/popular (BMW, Volvo) cars are going for, it looks like most car leases for those are up 35% or more per month. There’s not a lease available on this site for a decent commuter car for under $300/mo.

That definitely is impacting the middle class here in the NE where as @TheBigTuna points out has 50% leasing profile, compared to the 25% you highlight.


People are buying cars at or several $1000s above MSRP, pair that with higher MF rates and lower rebates, overall the situation is getting much worse. I think the 40-50% higher monthly payment for a similar spec car is accurate based on the numbers I have been seeing pre and post shortage.

You know the situation has to be dire when LHers are paying MSRP.


Spockvr6 says “hrrrrrrrmmmmmmph”

Holiday Season Scrooge GIF by Champions Centre

The problem with used cars is that in addition to thr higher monthly payments (finance vs lease) you are on the hook with out of warranty repairs. I totally agree with OP.

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