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How to save cash as new car prices continue to rise in Utah

Posted at 4:18 PM, Sep 14, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Anyone in the market for a new car who's been shopping around in Utah, may have noticed the prices keep getting steeper. Utah is the third-most expensive state to buy a brand new car, according to QuoteWizard.

The "why" is because Utah has one of highest sales taxes in the nation at 7.25 percent. And the state's $4,100 dealership fees is also among the highest in the country.

On top of that, Utah’s average cost of insurance is nearly $1,400 a year.

Factor in the price of gas and most end up spending much more than the retail price of the vehicle.

However, an insurance expert has some tips on what consumers could do to offset some of the costs.

Before heading out to go shopping, call dealerships in the area and ask for the out-of-door price, what a buyer would pay after taxes and fees.

In addition, call the insurance company to ask how much the insurance will cost. Remember, when switching from an older car to a new car, the insurance will go up. If the amount quoted is too much, consider working with an independent insurance agent to see if there are companies willing to offer a lower premium.

“One of the most common sales tactics that is used is the dealer will tell you ‘This is how much you’ll pay per month’,” says Divya Sangameshwar, an insurance expert with QuoteWizard. “They will try to tell you that you can lower your monthly costs by taking on a longer-term loan or by opting for an insurance policy that may not be what you may personally require, it may not have the coverage that you need.

"Don’t go with that narrative.”

Sangameshwar suggests not taking the loan the dealership offers if it doesn't appear to be a good deal. Call a bank or credit union and see if they can finance the car.

Prospective buyers could also negotiate the dealership fee or interest rate.

But for those really trying to save, consider not buying a brand-new car until interest rates go down.

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