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Industry News: Americans Are Leasing Vehicles At A Record Number


William Maley

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Prices of new vehicles are climbing to record highs and causing buyers to look at leases for lower monthly payments.

 

According to CNBC, a new report from Experian Automotive found that 31.46 percent of vehicles sold in the first quarter were leased. This is up from the 24.05 percent who chose to lease five years ago. The report also reveals that that the average monthly payment for a new vehicle loan was $488, up $14. But, the average lease payment was down $7 to $405.

 

"The difference between a monthly payment for those leasing a new vehicle versus those who buy new is almost $100," said Melinda Zabritski, senior director of Experian Automotive.

 

"Leasing has become more popular because the price of vehicles continues to go up. Consumers are looking for lower monthly payments, which is why more of them are extending the terms of their loans."

 

Source: CNBC


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Industry wide this is definitely true, though for some reason it is not remotely the case in our location.  We are lucky to get maybe 10% of sales as leases, most it seems would rather just try and get extended terms to get that payment down.

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Is there not a disconnect where people looking for lower monthly payments IGNORE the fact that lease payments never end, whereas purchase payments do?

 

Doesn't matter to them, they're going to want a new car in 2 - 4 years anyway. 

 

We leased the Buick, but our reason for leasing was that we were anticipating a major life change after 2 years and we weren't sure if we were going to want the same sort of vehicle.  We were a 1 vehicle household if you don't count the Toronado which doesn't get used much. 

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I believe the Auto industry will push all they can to move all auto prices up to force more and more into leasing as they would rather have a consumable market place with never ending payments to them. I can see the long term time get to where if you want an auto, you lease it and pay for the right to drive an auto with never ending payments.

 

Those of us that hold onto auto's for a long time will become fewer and fewer.

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Is there not a disconnect where people looking for lower monthly payments IGNORE the fact that lease payments never end, whereas purchase payments do?

Very, very few of the customers I see have their vehicles long enough to pay them off, and I've not done a lease yet, so even the non-lease customers often will never reach and end to payments.  Heck, most of them are out looking to trade while they're still upside down on the car they want to trade in.

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Is there not a disconnect where people looking for lower monthly payments IGNORE the fact that lease payments never end, whereas purchase payments do?

 

Doesn't matter to them, they're going to want a new car in 2 - 4 years anyway. 

Those people already were lease-ees.

I don't think I understand someone who is going to complain about how much they are spending but then enter into a perpetual infinite monthly expenditure cycle.

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I believe the Auto industry will push all they can to move all auto prices up to force more and more into leasing as they would rather have a consumable market place with never ending payments to them. I can see the long term time get to where if you want an auto, you lease it and pay for the right to drive an auto with never ending payments.

 

Those of us that hold onto auto's for a long time will become fewer and fewer.

I think that realistically those people have long been in the minority.  I just paid my car off back in March, and honestly I would love to trade for something different,  but I won't even realistically entertain the thought of doing something I know I can't afford like that.  I think the larger number of people that do hold onto their vehicles are probably more like me, they don't keep them because they don't want to trade, they keep them because they can't afford to do otherwise.  I don't hate, or even dislike, my current car, but I bought it because it fit my budget and needs, not because it excited me.  I would love to buy something that I'm actually excited to own, instead, but that just isn't in the cards.

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Is there not a disconnect where people looking for lower monthly payments IGNORE the fact that lease payments never end, whereas purchase payments do?

Very, very few of the customers I see have their vehicles long enough to pay them off...

That's because the people who DO pay them off don't go shopping nearly as often! ;)

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Is there not a disconnect where people looking for lower monthly payments IGNORE the fact that lease payments never end, whereas purchase payments do?

 

Doesn't matter to them, they're going to want a new car in 2 - 4 years anyway. 

Those people already were lease-ees.

I don't think I understand someone who is going to complain about how much they are spending but then enter into a perpetual infinite monthly expenditure cycle.

 

 

They're probably already in that cycle. They buy, go upside down, trade in 3 - 4 years before the note is paid off, and roll the balance into the next car.  Leasing will probably cost them less money than that scenario.

Don't get me wrong... I much prefer to buy and hold also.  I'm just explaining what I think is the reason for the shift. 

 

Besides, GM says you don't even own your car anymore, you just license the software that runs it.

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i never wanted to lease ever again but we leased our new town and country in January.  I could not justify 500/mo for an explorer/traverse or sim that was 3 years old and had 50k on it on a 5 year loan.  I chose to lease a new mostly loaded T/C for the same payment as to buy a 1-2 year old grand caravan with lesser kit and 30k on the odometer already.

 

it comes down to stagnant wages vs. msrp's going way up, also in this instance, the residual after 3 years is far less than what the loan payoff would be at after 3 years on a traditional buy.  If the value tanks, I walk away or by then with so many leases out there, they may offer them for sale to the lessee for a price cut at the end.

 

I don't want own a van anyways.

 

Sure I am left with nothing but i paid 6 years on my Taurus X, the tranny started going out, and it was only worth a small dimple in the down payment of a new one.

 

Yes there is a huge bubble coming, or......

 

The automakers have succeeded in making a 'first market' where then they get the vehicle back after you paid most of the depreciation.  Then they get to sell the vehicle again as a CPO with low miles and make money on a new loan and sell extended warranties.....  The second cycle, people will trade it in at about the 6-7 year mark, 100k or so, and then the dealer will obtain that trade with you at a loss, roll your deficit into a new loan for someone else with low wage and bad credit......so they will be buying 6-7 year old vehicles at 12-18 percent and 5 years again and will be almost forced to get a warranty AGAIN.  Then once the vehicle is 10-12 years old, the vehicle hits the cycle again and money is made again.......

 

Think of how much $$$$ banks make off that one vehicle over its life.  Think of how much states make off sales tax and vehicle tabs for that one car.

 

I was all for paying off my cars but the last two i did, within less than a year, they had tranny issues and it was either put big bucks into them or take what i could get and put it into the new vehicle.  Just paid off the cobalt and now its approaching 100k, the past tells me my trouble free car, something will start to go amok, so i should go look for a lease.....can't replace that 207 payment with a 5 year loan comparable car for less than 300-350 unless i lease.... and even then that's still almost impossible.....

 

My last few weeks in my selling cars gig i recall the people at the sister Ford dealer had been starting the lease push back again (2012).  The initial targets were like 30-33 percent lease and eventually over time if it hit 40% they said it was not impossible.  You get people on the 3 year cycle, just like cell phones, get people on a cycle where their decision is forced otherwise they sit and do nothing and spend no cash.

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Given the current financal climate this is hardly surprising.

 

Only a matter of time now before leases start going up in price.

 

 

I've seen that here already. The local dodge dealership pretty much used to give leases away here....not any more. The Compass was a 150 buck special last year, cheapest lease this year is 300 bucks with money down.

 

And they are selling more this year than last.

 

I'm going to stay down at the small car level myself. Would love a colorado, but simply can't justify the 30k+ price tag. Thinking some sort of cruze, though I'm waiting on more info on the 2016....

 

Then something well picked used for the wife....

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Average new car price is nearing the average annual income of a person now.  Wages aren't going up as fast as cost of cars, education, insurance, etc, etc.   I think most Americans also live for the future and worry about current monthly budget and don't think about the payments never ending or what interest over 6 or 7 years is on a car.  So they look for the lowest payment for today, and worry about the future later.  But as Drew mentioned, that sets us up for another bubble to burst.

 

Personally I like to buy used cars because the depreciation hit is gone, and then you have something to own that you can keep.    But I can understand why lease rates are surging.  Assume someone on a tight budget that can spend $200 a month on a car, they can either buy an $11,000 used car (which will probably be a 2007-2010) on a 6 year loan or get a 2015 Focus, Cruze or Elantra lease and have warranty, not have to worry about buying tires, making repairs, etc. 

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Is there not a disconnect where people looking for lower monthly payments IGNORE the fact that lease payments never end, whereas purchase payments do?

Very, very few of the customers I see have their vehicles long enough to pay them off...

That's because the people who DO pay them off don't go shopping nearly as often! ;)

 

 

Ha ... that'd be me. ;)

 

Here in IL, the taxes for a lease have reportedly dropped by 50% ... so the leases here are that much more ... enticing.

 

 

Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
"Hood slidin' like Bo Duke"__Dierks Bently__'What Was I Thinking?'
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      486,024

       

       

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      N/A

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      9,924

      28,706

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      Police Interceptor Sedan

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      1,762

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      3,427

      7,382

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      GT

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      24

      75.0

      229

      126

      81.7

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      14,223

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      72,489

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      14,140

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      31,923

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      12,096

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      284,859

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      1,243,136

      1,139,079

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      4,080

       

       

      4,931

       

       

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      17,725

       

       

      19,852

       

       

      -10.7

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      2,424

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      6,586

      8,758

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      7,355

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      24,311

      28,610

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      6,971

      8.3

      25,815

      26,241

      -1.6

      Nautilus/MKX

      7,727

      8,687

      -11.1

      31,711

      28,573

      11.0

      MKT

      275

      540

      -49.1

      3,388

      2,324

      45.8

      Aviator

      6,424

      0

      N/A

      8,323

      0

      N/A

      Navigator

      5,455

      4,754

      14.7

      18,656

      17,839

      4.6

      Lincoln SUVs

      27,430

      20,952

      30.9

      87,893

      74,977

      17.2

      Lincoln Brand

      33,355

      28,307

      17.8

      112,204

      103,587

      8.3

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