(NewsNation) — With interest rates jumping, the interest rates on car loans are shooting up, as well, but that’s not the only thing driving price increases.
Supply chain difficulties, inflation, global tensions and many other factors are coming together on the new and used car lots, and it’s leaving a situation that’s not pretty for car buyers. The average car payment has hit $700 across the country.
Matt Sapaula, the Money Smart Guy, joined “Morning in America” Monday to discuss the situation.
Sapaula said that new and used car prices are outpacing income growth largely due to inflation rather than the other factors. He noted, however, that prices are starting to moderate and that consumers might find a better picture in the near future.
Rather than starting at a dealership, Sapaula advises starting your search at a site like AutoTrader.com or Cars.com. You can also download apps that will help calculate the value of a car you want so you can make sure the price is realistic.
One of the most important things to do even before you start shopping is to pay attention to your credit rating. The “teaser” rates that carmakers offer are usually only available to those with the very best credit scores, so make sure yours is as solid as you can make it before you go shopping.
Finally, Sapaula recommended targeting cars that are 4-5 years old if you’re looking for a used ride. The depreciation has done most of its work on the value, but it’s not so old that it’s begun to suffer the effects of age.
It’s still a tough market in which to buy a car, but these tips should help you get the best deal possible.