The last few weeks, I've spent a lot of time looking at vehicles for sale, and let me just say that it's been very eye-opening.

First, I should tell you that I've never owned a brand-new vehicle.  My wife and I are one of those couples that don't like big payments, so we've always gone with something that was a few years old and driven it until the wheels fell off.  Case in point, my wife's car had almost 350 thousand miles on it when it finally gave up the ghost.

However, living here in Montana, we want to make sure that we have what we need as far as the elements go, so I've been "car shopping" and trying to find a vehicle that won't cost me an arm and leg and will last for years to come.  To be honest, it's been very difficult.

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The reason it's so hard to find a decent vehicle at a decent price is that it seems like everyone is looking for one.  There have been a couple that I've found on websites and by the time I've reached out to the dealer or the individual, they were gone.

It's almost like the housing situation.  Folks are getting more than the vehicles is worth, so they're cashing in on it.  I mean, I understand it and I'm guessing I would do the same thing, however, I'm not sure that a 20-year-old vehicle with 200 thousand miles is worth 25 grand.

Old, rusty, junked car in the woods

So how long can Montanans expect to pay these elevated prices for vehicles?

According to JP Morgan, the price of new vehicles has come down a little (1.4%) in the last few months and will continue to drop in 2023, however, not at the rate that consumers are hoping for. The average price for a new vehicle is currently over 45 thousand dollars.


In case you might be wondering, the reasons for these inflated prices come from a couple of different factors.  Supply and demand. Remember during the pandemic and all of the talk about the "chips"?  Apparently, the chip shortage is still a thing and that is part of the reason for the delay of more vehicles.

The latest reason is the cost of shipping. With the high cost of fuel, consumers are feeling the pinch.  Experts believe that as more new cars hit the market prices will drop, and that will stabilize the used car markets as well.

I don't know about you, but I've got my fingers crossed.

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LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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