Leasing, vehicle financing reach record high in 3rd quarter
Leasing accounted for nearly 27 percent of new-vehicle transactions in the third quarter, says Experian Automotive. Thatês the highest percentage since Experian began tracking the data publicly in 2006. The average monthly lease payment was $398, up $1 from a year ago. Still, consumers can save an average of $84 a month by leasing rather than taking out a loan on a new vehicle.
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, Experianês senior director of automotive finance.
Rising vehicle prices also have given way to record loan amounts for new and used vehicles. During the third quarter, the average amount financed for a new vehicle was $28,936, up $1,137 from a year ago. The average amount financed for a used vehicle was $18,866, up $290.
Another way consumers are dealing with high prices is to take out longer loans. In the third quarter, the percentage of consumers who took out vehicle loans with terms between 61 and 72 months reached all-time highs 44 percent for new vehicles and 41 percent for used.
A third finding that may be related to higher vehicle prices and low interest rates: the percentage of new vehicles financed reached an all-time high of 86.6 percent. At the same time, the average credit score fell to 710, the lowest since third-quarter 2007. The percentage of new vehicles financed reached an all-time high of 86.6 percent.Download Bulletin PDF