gas prices are high. very high. that hasn't stopped americans who are looking to battle equally high, record-setting monthly car payments. as means of fighting against rising car payments, prospective buyers are traveling farther out from their local dealership groups than they may have in the past. according to a study conducted by a subaru dealership in lexington, kentucky, americans say they are willing to travel an average distance of 469 miles to find their next car.
the study surveyed 2690 drivers and broke down the miles consumers were willing to travel on a state-by-state basis. relatively unsurprisingly, the state willing to travel the largest number of miles is alaska at 722. the state least willing to travel is vermont, with prospective buyers willing to travel 286 miles.
as we pointed out in march, finding good deals on cars is still possible for buyers who can remain flexible. that was as true two years ago as it is now, and although we don't have comparative numbers from pre-pandemic days, part of the needed flexibility appears to be willingness to travel to get the car you want.
rather than focusing only on deals you can find in your zip code, it may be worth traveling beyond state borders in order to find a great deal. it may also be worth considering ordering new vehicles rather than looking at used cars which have seen a significantly larger price jump than their new counterparts. according to the u.s. bureau of labor statistics' consumer price index summary, prices for new vehicles were up just over 10 percent in january compared to a year before. prices of used vehicles were over 40 percent in the same time period. most importantly, remember that this is temporary. chip shortages will end, dealer lots will fill back up and prices will come back down. there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that you're driving to meet it in your next dream car.