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Car leasing reaches record high

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

Car leasing is more popular than ever. According to a recent report by Experian Automotive, new-car leasing is up 12.5 percent, the highest level since the firm began tracking the data it in 2006. Currently, 27.5 percent of all new vehicles financed are done so via leasing, up from 24.4 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

The popularity of leasing a car versus buying a new car has grown gradually, thanks to an ever-growing group of consumers who see it as a way to drive a more expensive car while avoiding a higher monthly car payment. Leasing also can be a good option for those who prefer to drive a new car every couple of years or for someone whose driving needs may change more quickly than the typical five-year term of a new-car loan.

Lease-trading service noted that the monthly payments for car leases on popular vehicles are lower than last year. For example, monthly car lease payments on the Honda Civic averaged $244.55 in May, a 20.9 percent drop from prices a year ago, while the Lexus IS250 had an average monthly payment of $471.87, a 15.4 percent drop from last year.

If you are ready to buy a new car, read "4 factors to consider in car leasing" to help determine if leasing a car is right for you.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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Rich Kociban
July 02, 2013 at 6:55 am

I disagree with Cyberian Fox. I do not lease because I want to give the illusion of wealth. I do beacuse it is cheaper for me. The monthly payments are lower and also by the time the warranty is up my lease is usually up. I only lease the vehicle that fits my lifestyle.

June 19, 2013 at 5:44 pm

People lease to give the illusion of wealth. They could never afford to purchase it so they "rent" it. You can even rent high end hand bags...what a joke! Our society has become so full of itself it's sickening!

joe celli
June 18, 2013 at 11:37 pm

I have been selling cars over 25 years. There are two rules to getting a new car. Long term ownership(5 years plus) buy. Short term (under 5 years) lease. Some people have the need or desire to get into cars frequently.Never plan to buy a car & trade it in under 5 years. never lease & buy it at the end. Both are costly and wrong financial moves. When you lease you pay for half the car. Lease for the miles you need . High miles are cheaper in a lease than buy & trade. If you keep for a long time,miles mean nothing.You can lease up to 100,000 miles for two or three years if need be,and its 40%cheaper than trading out of a buy with high miles..