Brands such as Buick (6 percent), Volkswagen (6 percent), Infiniti (9 percent) and Hyundai (5 percent) saw increases in search traffic in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter, according to a report prepared by Swapalease.com. Meanwhile, GMC (-13 percent), Lexus (-13 percent), and Subaru (-13 percent) were all down double-digits from the first quarter.
Compared to the second quarter a year ago, Mercedes-Benz search traffic is up 29 percent, Volkswagen is up 23 percent, and Toyota is up 35 percent. Swapalease attributes much of this growth to an influx of car shoppers seeking alternate options for lease deals since many OEMs have lowered incentives on new lease offerings. As a result, more consumers are searching to take over an existing lease deal through the Swapalease.com marketplace, according to the company.
BMW continues to lead all brands in total overall share of traffic on Swapalease.com, with 11 percent share of traffic. Mercedes-Benz is next with 8 percent, followed by Audi at 3 percent. Lexus, which saw its search traffic fall significantly from the previous quarter, also saw its total overall share of traffic on the site fall to 2 percent, down from 3 percent the previous quarter. Several brands continue to see total overall search traffic less than 1 percent, such as Chrysler, Ram and Nissan.
The average lease payment on the road in the second quarter was registered at $487.51 per month, down from $495.83 in the first quarter.
The average months remaining rose during the second quarter, up to 28.8, an indication that people are looking to escape their leases earlier in their contracts. Conversely, the average miles remaining dropped slightly to 22,617 left in their contract, which shows people are driving more while they have their lease; perhaps due to the continued low price of fuel.
The average incentive offered to escape an existing lease fell slightly to $601.91, which is reflective of the rise of search traffic and the increased demand for lease takeover, according to Swapalease.com. Sellers are finding more buying activity on the site and are less likely to offer a hefty incentive to escape their contract.
“As the trends show, leasing remains popular as an alternate form of finance, and shoppers will continue to seek the right deal that fits their automotive needs whether that’s on the showroom floor or through the secondary market where there is greater term flexibility,” added Scot Hall, executive vice president of Swapalease.com.
Most people continue to lease an SUV (23.7 percent), up noticeably from 19.5 percent during the first quarter. Conversely, mid-size car drivers fell to 12. percent (from 13.3 percent), as well as sports car drivers at 4.7 percent (decreased from 7.7 percent). What’s more, even though popular truck models are some of today’s best-selling vehicles at the dealership, only 3.5 percent of people say they’re leasing one, down from 4.2 percent in the first quarter.