US auto leases hit record level image

Nearly one third of all new car transactions within United States were leases in the first quarter of the year, Experian Automotive says.

According to a recent report from Experian Automotive, the average loan amount and monthly payment for new cars in the US continue to rise, as leasing reached its highest level on record. This predominant financing option accounted for 31.1 percent of all new vehicle transactions during the first quarter of 2016, while used vehicle leasing increased 2.1 percent from a year ago. Experian believes the main reason behind this upward trend is the increase of new car prices that is forcing customers to explore options to keep their payments affordable.

“As long as vehicle prices continue to rise, we can expect leasing rates to grow along with them,” analyst Melinda Zabritski said. “However, consumers need to understand the nuances of their lease agreements and make sure that leasing fits their lifestyle.” Kelley Blue Book said earlier this month the estimated average transaction price for light vehicles in the United States was 33,845 dollars in May and new-car prices have increased by 1,139 dollars, or up 3.5 percent.

The report shows the average loan for a new vehicle reached 30,032 dollars, with the average monthly payments of 503 dollars, while the loan amounts for used cars were 20,723 dollars for franchise dealers and 16,124 dollars for the independent ones. Furthermore, the increase also affected the average loan term, as it all increased by one month, reaching 68, 66 and 58 months, respectively.