Car sales were shattered early last year as the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered dealerships and lockdowns kept people at home. A recovering economy, pent-up demand, and low-interest rates helped the industry recover late in 2020 and early in 2021. That demand is so great that car prices, both new and used, have risen to record levels. Supplies have been constrained by a shortage of chips used for car electrical systems. The tight supplies have pushed prices even higher. As a by-product, the lack of units has started to undermine the revenue of the world’s largest car companies.
The price of an average new vehicle has moved above $30,000. However, not all cars are nearly that expensive. Cars.com put together a list of the 10 least expensive cars now. Most cars have automatic transmissions, so the prices are based on that transmission configuration.
Here is the list:
1. 2021 Chevrolet Spark LS: $15,695
2. 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage ES: $16,590
3. 2021 Kia Rio LX: $17,045
4. 2021 Hyundai Accent SE: $17,500
5. 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 ES: $17,590
6. 2021 Nissan Versa S: $17,600
7. 2021 Kia Forte FE: $19,785
8. 2021 Nissan Sentra S: $20,410
9. 2021 Hyundia Elantra SE: $20,655
10. 2021 Hyundai Veloster 2.0: $20,905
Each of these is a subcompact or compact car. As is true with most vehicles in these categories, they have small engines and get good gas mileage. The Spark LS gets 30 MPG in the city, and 30 MPG on the highway.
These cars can cost considerably more with extra features. With a number of accessories, Spark’s price can rise above $20,000.
As Cars.com editors point out, the period when the cheapest cars cost $10,000 is long gone. At the rate car prices are rising, the $20,000 price point for the cheapest car is not far away.