More new vehicles were leased in the first half of 2016 than during the first half of any other year in history, according to the latest Lease Market Report from Edmunds.com, the leading car shopping and information network. Lease volume has doubled in the last five years, suggesting that the automotive market could be on the verge of a fundamental shift in consumer mindset about the value of owning a new vehicle — particularly when the purchase has to be financed. The Millennial generation is driving this change, with a higher rate of lease penetration than any other generation (34.2 percent), but the strongest growth has come from shoppers over the age of 75. During the first six months of this year, more than 32 percent of cars sold to this age group were leased –a growth rate of 74 percent compared to five years ago when lease penetration this group was only 19 percent.
“Millennials and seniors actually have more in common that one might think, since both experienced deep economic recessions during their formative years that helped to shape their worldviews and made them more value-oriented,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of industry analysis. “Both Millennials and seniors crave the highest quality product for the best possible price, and considering these groups are both at a place in their lives where they likely have limited monthly cash flow, leasing can seem like the most viable option.”