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Share of all new U.S. vehicles that are leased 2017-2020

Lease options were found around one out of four vehicles in the United States in 2020 - including cars - with the others being sold outright. The percentage found in the third quarter of 2020 was a slight increase from Q2 2020 - the quarter of the coronavirus pandemic -, but was still roughly four percentage points lower than in Q3 2019.

Why lease a vehicle?

Depreciation is the largest portion of the average annual cost of vehicle ownership. When leasing a vehicle, this cost is absorbed by the leaser, rather than the consumer. Similarly, maintenance costs are often paid by the company leasing the car, in order to keep the car in good condition for eventual sale after the lease ends. Finally, with the interest rates on auto loans between four and five percent on average for a 60-month loan, financing a car purchase can add a significant amount to the sticker price.

The auto market in the United States

Vehicle sales in the United States amount to millions of cars per year. Through leasing new cars, drivers have the opportunity to enjoy a new vehicle without worrying about the longer term issues of car ownership. For suppliers, the cars retain a significant portion of their original value. After the lease, suppliers can then sell them in the automotive aftermarket.

Percentage of newly-bought vehicles on lease in the United States from 1st quarter of 2017 to 3rd quarter of 2020

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Release date

December 2020


United States

Survey time period

Q1 2017 to Q3 2020

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Statistics on "Car financing and leasing in the United States"

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