2012 Toyota Camry SE

Car leases average less than 16 months now

There have been more model year leases in 2011 on LeaseTrader.com than in any other year, setting a record for the most same-year leases with three weeks still left to go in the calendar year.

LeaseTrader’s total inventory is 15.3% of 2011 model leases. The previous record was 2005, when 13.5% of leases were listed by the end of the same model year. The 2010 lease year represented 10.6% of total inventory.

“The fact that so many 2011s have already come into the LeaseTrader marketplace shows that lease deals continue to get better and more people want to exercise their option to transfer earlier,” said Sergio Stiberman, CEO and founder of LeaseTrader.com.

“People should not have to wait three or four years if they see a car they’d rather have at any point during their lease contract.”

Many of the drivers looking to escape their 2011 leases are doing so to take advantage of an even better lease deal on a 2012 model, Stiberman said.

This, he says, expedites the auto sales cycle and creates more inventory turnover at the dealership level in addition to secondary channels. BMW, Mercedes, Toyota and Cadillac are the top four brands with 2011 models listed in the marketplace.

That a significant population of drivers would escape their leased vehicle after just 12 months is no surprise, LeaseTrader officials say. This is because demand for one-year lease activity has gone way up since January with takeover demand up 14.2% during that period.

The appetite for extreme short terms in leasing is becoming more prominent, and today the typical lease customer looks to escape a lease after about 16 months into the contract. More dealers are offering 24-month leases and some manufacturers are allowing car buyers to treat their financed vehicle like a lease through a four-year buy-back program.

Reach TN's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.

Image source: 2012 Toyota Camry SE picture courtesy Toyota

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Wow, that is a short amount of time. That is probably how long some people want to keep there cars anyway.