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Despite questions of vehicle affordability, Experian finds automotive delinquency rates remain relatively stable

New report also shows average interest rate for new vehicles reaches 6 percent

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Feb. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- While vehicle affordability and delinquent loan volume continue to make headlines, new findings from Experian's Q4 2018 State of the Automotive Finance Market report show these trends may not be as dire as they seem. In fact, the percentage of 30-day delinquent loans improved year-over-year, while the percentage of 60-day delinquencies saw only a minimal uptick over the same time period.

Experian. (PRNewsFoto/Experian)

The report shows 30-day delinquencies dropped to 2.32 percent from 2.36 percent a year ago, while 60-day delinquencies increased to 0.78 percent from 0.76 percent the previous year. The percentage of delinquent loans continues to remain stable even as more and more consumers rely on automotive financing. In Q4 2018, 85.1 percent of all new vehicle purchases were financed compared to 81.4 percent in Q4 2010.  

"While delinquencies can be an indicator of automotive finance market health, it's important to examine these trends within the larger industry context," said Melinda Zabritski, Experian's senior director of automotive financial solutions. "With more car shoppers using automotive financing options, it's natural to see an uptick in the volume of delinquent loans. Lenders need to factor in additional historical trends, such as the percentage of subprime loan originations and shifting payment options, to gain a more complete picture and make the right lending decisions."

Much of the conversation surrounding delinquency rates is driven by questions of vehicle affordability, specifically the average loan amounts and monthly payments. The average loan amount for a new vehicle was $31,722 (up $623 from the previous year), while the average loan amount for a used vehicle surpassed $20,000 (up $488 from the previous year). The average monthly payment for a new vehicle was $545 (up $30 from the previous year) and the average for a used vehicle was $387 (up $16 from the previous year).

Another component of the conversation around vehicle affordability is interest rates – which for new vehicle loans was 6.13 percent, up from 5.11 percent a year ago. For used vehicle loans, the average interest rate was 9.59 percent.

"As loan amounts, monthly payments and interest rates continue to rise, there are a number of factors for consumers to consider as they research their car-buying options," Zabritski said. "While consumers appear to be doing their due diligence when making borrowing choices that fit their budget, lenders also play a large role. Every consumer deserves access to quality credit, and lenders should leverage all available data to offer the most comprehensive financing options to car shoppers."

Additional findings for Q4 2018:

  • Total outstanding automotive loan balances in Q4 2018 was $1.178 billion.
  • The percentage of outstanding loan balances held by subprime and deep subprime consumers remained below 20 percent (19.69 percent)
  • Loan originations to super prime consumers grew 3.3 percent to 20.54 percent of total originations.
  • Leasing grew year-over-year. The percentage of new vehicles that were leased reach 28.76 percent compared to 28.28 percent a year ago.
  • Eight of the top 10 new leased models in Q4 2018 were crossover utility vehicles and trucks.
  • The gap between the average new and used monthly payments continued to widen, reaching $158.

To view the entire State of the Automotive Finance Market report webinar, visit https://www.experian.com/automotive/automotive-webinars.html.

About Experian
Experian is the world's leading global information services company. During life's big moments — from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers — we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organizations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

We have 16,500 people operating across 39 countries and every day we're investing in new technologies, talented people and innovation to help all our clients maximize every opportunity. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

Learn more at www.experianplc.com or visit our global content hub at our global news blog for the latest news and insights from the Group.

Experian and the Experian marks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Experian and its affiliates. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

Contact:

Jordan Takeyama
Experian Public Relations
1 714 830 7561
jordan.takeyama@experian.com 

 

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