People continue to lease vehicles at a record pace, according to the Q3 2015 State of the Automotive Finance Market report from Experian Automotive, leasing accounted for nearly 27% of all new vehicle transactions, up from 24.7% the previous year. This marks the highest percentage of vehicles leased since Experian began tracking the data publicly in 2006.
Findings from the report also showed that the average monthly lease payment was $398 during the quarter, up $1 from a year ago.
Rising vehicle prices also have given way to record loan amounts for new and used vehicles. During Q3 of 2015, the average amount financed for a new vehicle was $28,936, up $1,137 from the previous year. The average amount financed for a used vehicle was $18,866, up $290 over the same period. The gap between new and used loan amounts also has grown. On average, consumers finance $10,070 less on a used vehicle than on a new one.
Extending loan terms is another method consumers turned to in order to keep monthly payments lower. During the third quarter of 2015, the percentage of consumers who took out new and used vehicle loans with terms between 61 and 72 months reached all-time highs. For new vehicles, ~44% took out 61- to 72-month loans, and more than 41% financed a used vehicle for the same duration. People are also extending their loans even longer also has increased. Loans for new vehicles extending 73 to 84 months increased 17.1% over the previous year, reaching a Q3 record high of 27.5%. Used vehicle loans extending in the 73- to 84-month term, however, reached an all-time high of 16.2% – a 12% increase over the previous year.