A whole lot of drivers want to get rid of their cars, apparently.
Google searches for “give car back” have reached record highs, a trend first spotted by podcast host, CarDealershipGuy, who then posted the revelation on X, and showcased that searches are nearly double compared to almost 10 years ago.
Wow — thought this was fake (it’s not)
“give car back” searches at all-time high. try it yourself. pic.twitter.com/xwf6Mg1IcG
— CarDealershipGuy (@GuyDealership) October 30, 2023
The discovery that people are looking to ditch their vehicles isn’t exactly a shock considering the soaring costs associated with auto ownership.
The average monthly payment for a new car has increased by 28% over the past three years, according to data from online auto resource Edmunds, per Investopedia. The increase in car payments aligns with the rise in new car prices — which hit $46,229 in June, a 31% hike from three years ago, per the outlet.
An uptick in sticker prices also means more drivers took on auto loans, and now, auto loan debt currently stands at $1.58 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, an all-time high.
All of this has left many Americans in a bind.
“I’m paying a ton of money right now for a car that I don’t really need, and I’ve been struggling and struggling to sell it,” Sean Miller, who took out an auto loan in 2019, told CNBC. “If I were to sell it today, it would probably be at a $10,000 to $15,000 loss. This is something that right now is preventing me from being able to save up in order to start a family.”
Rising car loan rates have coincided with increasing interest rates, reaching levels not seen since 2008, subsequently leading to the surge of borrowing money, per Bankrate.
On the bright side, the Fed decided on Wednesday to maintain interest rates within a range of 5.25% to 5.50%, offering temporary relief from escalating interest rates.