Auto leases climbing at record pace: Experian

December 4, 2015

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (12/4/15)--Consumers are leasing vehicles at a record pace, as leasing accounted for nearly 27% of all new vehicle transactions in the third quarter, according to Experian.

That marks the highest share of transactions since Experian began tracking the data in 2006. On an annual basis for 3Q, the percentage of leases is up from 24.7%.

Meanwhile, the average amount financed for a new vehicle was $28,936, a $1,137 increase annually, while the average for a used vehicle in the third quarter was $18,866, a $290 increase over the previous year.

“As the price for a new or used vehicle continues to rise, leasing has become a more viable financing option for consumers looking to maintain an affordable monthly payment,” said Melinda Zabritski, Experian senior director of automotive finance. “While consumers can save an average of $84 per month by leasing rather than taking out a loan on a new vehicle, they should make sure leasing fits their lifestyle. Oftentimes there are mileage caps and other considerations that consumers should familiarize themselves with before entering into a leasing agreement.”

Additional data from the report:

  • The average monthly lease payment climbed $1 to $398 on a year-over-year basis;
  • The percentage of consumers who took out new- and used-vehicle loans with terms between 61 and 72 months climbed to an all-time high during the quarter. For new cars, roughly 44% took out loans with terms of 61 to 72 months. For used cars, roughly 41% took out loans with those terms; and
  • Loans for new vehicles with terms between 73 to 84 months rose 17.1% on a year-over-year basis, reaching a record high of 27.5%.