It’s Been A Wild Ride: Are We
Finally Off The Roller Coaster?

The summer is nearly here, and with inventory levels rising and pricing showing stabilization it’s time to ask: is the post-pandemic volatility finally over?

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What we’re watching

As we delve into the data and insights, the volatility of the past five years is evident. However, amid this roller coaster ride, a more positive message emerges: The worst of the uncertainty may be behind us. The market has not emerged unscathed, and few aspects have returned to pre-pandemic levels. We find ourselves in a “new normal” phase providing an opportunity to identify growth as we look forward.

New-car shoppers will find prices are inflated by more than 30% and look to stay there; supplies are recovering, but the price mix has changed. Affordability is a challenge, with’s proprietary New Car Price Index (NCPI) at 132.9, reflecting high prices, lukewarm discounting and expensive financing. However, there has been a recovery in the supply of new cars under $30K, affording much-needed solace for consumers. 

Used-car buyers face similar challenges, but there’s more pricing relief, and trade-in values remain healthy. Month over month, used car prices and days live are nearly flat, further indicating stabilization in the market even as demand and supply slip slightly. But there’s still tangible scarcity in affordable, newer vehicles. Consumers are paying $93 more per 1,000 odometer miles on used cars today than in 2021, and average miles remain stubbornly high. 

While the new and used markets stabilize, electric vehicles remain far more volatile. New EV inventory is growing — double from 2023 — and demand is rising, but not at the same pace, so days live is up year over year. However, more recent indicators demonstrate some market steadiness, including a decline in month-over-month days live and average price. The fastest-selling EVs come from luxury (Audi, Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz) and mainstream (Subaru and Toyota) brands, representing a wide range of customer preferences. As EV selection expands, adoption should follow, but with charging still a concern and more hybrids available, the argument for EVs as a more convenient, better mobility solution remains debatable. Overall, year-over-year metrics are still showing large changes, but month-over-month numbers are stabilizing. However, the impact of high prices permeates the market, and there’s little sign of a return to pre-pandemic conditions. Stakeholders can take some solace in knowing this market is the new reality.

Rebecca Lindland
Sr. Director of Industry Data and Insights, Cars Commerce

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