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Written by Cyndie Martini
on October 01, 2019

Swapalease.com's Auto Lease Trends Report 1st Quarter 2019 publication is out and shows some interesting movement in the auto leasing industry. It's also a great look into U.S. consumer spending confidence. The report found that the average lease payment was $518.47 per month during the 1st quarter. That's down from $519.14 in the 4th quarter.

Based on miles and months remaining, the report shows that people want to get out of their leases early. This seems due to a desire to change the vehicle brand or type along with changes in income. Luxury brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz currently dominate the leasing market. SUVs are the clear leader in car types at 24.6%, which is near double the runner-up - mid-size cars coming in at 14.8%.

Consumer confidence in the economy and continued leasing breaks down into the following categories:

  • Overall Confidence in the Economy
    • 53 - 2018 Q4
    • 54 - 2019 Q1
  • Confidence in Economy Looking Ahead
    • 37 - 2018 Q4
    • 42 - 2019 Q1
  • Confidence Level in Leasing A Vehicle Today
    • 50 - 2018 Q4
    • 56 - 2019 Q1
  • Confidence in Leasing Versus a Year Ago
    • 44 - 2018 Q4
    • 50 - 2019 Q1

At least in Q1 2019, consumers were confident in the economy, had discretionary income, and were willing to spend it.

Despite leasing doing well, overall car sales are a different story. During the 1st half of this year, auto sales declined by 2%, generating the second year-over-year decline in sales in over ten years. Due to the saturation of used cars, lease financing may be the beneficiary.

“Automakers are fighting a war on multiple fronts right now,” said Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis for Edmunds. “Old cars are piling up on dealer lots, a glut of affordable off-lease vehicles are luring shoppers into the used market, and even with the Fed set to lower rates in July, higher interest rates are here to stay.”



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