Auto affordability: An uphill drive

Falling sticker prices are increasingly attractive to consumers, but rising total costs of ownership may be offsetting the appeal.

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Joe Wadford

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David Tinsley

May 2024

Key takeaways

  • New and used vehicle prices have fallen from their 2021 peaks, but rising financing rates and higher insurance and maintenance costs are pressuring the overall total cost of car ownership.
  • Bank of America internal data on auto loan originations suggests that overall car sales are flattening, likely due in part to these affordability issues. And a Bank of America proprietary survey finds that Americans feel as though vehicle maintenance and loans are two of the top five most difficult household expenses to afford.
  • The average loan amount of used electric vehicles (EVs) is down 20% YoY, with originations increasing at faster rates than traditional gas-powered vehicles.

Read our full analysis for a more in-depth look at these trends.

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