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Car dealers are asking thousands over sticker price, here's how you can save some money

Short supply has dealerships selling cars for thousands above sticker price. Experts say there are a few things you can do to save some money when buying a car.

INDIANAPOLIS — Car dealers are hurting for inventory and when supply goes down, prices go up. That's something Christy Davis experienced firsthand while shopping for a third-row SUV.

At first, Davis and her husband had their eyes on a Kia Telluride.

"We got to the lot, and it actually had the one we wanted. It was the color and everything," Davis said.

But that's where their luck stopped. 

"Told the salesperson that we wanted it and he said, 'Well, it's going to be $10,000 to $12,000 above sticker price,'" Davis said. 

RELATED: Some used cars selling for more than their original sticker price

Next, the couple tried a Hyundai Palisade.

"Found one we wanted and wanted to lease and they said, 'Oh, we don't lease these,'" Davis said. 

But the third time was the charm.

The family ultimately got a Honda Pilot but said they paid the sticker price.

Matt Degen with Kelley Blue Book said if you are buying a new car, the sticker price is probably what you will pay. 

So, what's the average new car price right now?

"We just passed $42,700. We are creeping up on the $43,000 mark. All-time high," Degen said.

One reason for the price increase is the limited supply because of the semiconductor shortage. 13News drone shots show car lots along 96th Street looking bare.

Credit: WTHR
The semiconductor shortage has many car dealerships running low on supply. 13News drone shots show car lots along 96th Street looking bare.

Another reason for the high price average? People are buying larger, more costly vehicles.

"The economic rebound has been better than I think anybody expected, right? So, consumers have more cash in their pockets," Degen added. 

To keep cash in your pocket, Kelley Blue Book suggests a few things.

First, shop your financing options ahead of time with credit unions or banks. That way, you can compare interest rates against what the dealer offers.

Next, what you can get for your trade-in. Show up to the dealer with an offer in hand from online dealers like Carvana.

Lastly, be flexible. If your heart is set on something, your payment will probably show it. 

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