Average monthly car payments reach all-time high at over $700

The average car is getting less affordable for the average person as monthly payments reach an all-time high.
According to a report by Cox Automotive and Moody's Analytics, the affordability of new vehicles has continued to rise for the fourth month in a row.
The monthly car payment average stands at $712 per month. This means over the previous 12 months, new car payments have gone up 12.6%.
Rising interest rates have also made monthly payments higher than ever.
Benjamin Preston, of Consumer Reports, says one way to lower your payments is to put as big of a down payment as you can.
"The more you pay upfront, the less you're going to be paying in interest,” he says.
Preston says another way to avoid a big hit is to “always get pre-approved before you go out to look for a car."
He says to make sure you do your research before you head to any dealership, that way you know what you want, what you need and where you're willing to settle for what your budget is.
Newer cars may have updated technology, while older cars can drop that monthly payment — but they would have to be much older.
"Some of the cars that are one, two, three years old, even the prices are so high that they're close to or more than what they were new,” Preston says.
Consumer Reports also advises drivers to look for a reliable and fuel-efficient car to avoid less time in the shop and less spending on gas.