Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.

The average price of a car is now close to $50,000.  If you are looking for a new truck, the prices are even more staggering.  Average workers' pay has not risen at the same rate as inflation, which makes it tough to find a good new vehicle at what is considered a normal price of $30,000 or less.

US News & World Report states there are ways to shop for a new vehicle on a budget, but you have to be patient and ready to pounce on a great deal.

If you are convinced "new" is the best route to take, then consider some of the lesser-known models with great safety ratings and good gas mileage.  They may not be the make or model you were pining for, but they may fit your budget and check off some of your "must have" options.

Toyota Rav4 via Toyota.com
Toyota Rav4 via Toyota.com - honorable mention

I have been searching for an SUV with heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and a light-colored interior.   Believe it or not, it's not easy to find the heated steering wheel, and even more challenging to find a light gray, light beige, or off-white interior.  Every SUV seems to have a black interior, which is depressing to me (but not to most people).

So make a list of what you are willing to compromise on, get a handle on your budget, and start shopping with this list of 20 vehicles with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $30,000 or less.  You won't find any luxury cars on the list, but you will find some great deals on new cars.

Just remember, with a parts shortage and fewer cars available, it's still a jungle out there, so hunt with tenacity and patience.

This month, many New England dealerships are having sales, like Subaru of New England and New England Toyota, both offering a 3.9% finance rate.

Top 20 New Cars Under $30,000

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