2019-11-01 —

Adjusted for inflation, "real-dollar spending on new cars and trucks has gone up by $5,299 over the past 10 years," says Grimes, "while the real annual wage has gone up by $3,646."

So, Grimes says, seven-year car loans appear to be encouraging many Americans to overspend. These longer-term loans are also helping dealers pack in more pricey extra


For new-car purchases with a trade-in, about a third of people are now rolling over an average of $5,000 of debt from their old car loan into their new car loan, according to the Edmunds site. In other words, they're still paying for a car they no longer own.

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