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Consumers Choosing More Practical Vehicles, Says CarFinance.com

June 17, 2013

IRVINE, Calif. — CarFinance.com released a report of the Top 10 most frequently refinanced vehicles since 2012. Results showed that consumers are choosing more economical vehicles and are keeping them longer.

The report revealed that below-prime car owners — those consumers who are focused on lowering their interest rates and/or monthly payments through refinancing — tend to own sensible and durable vehicles. Mid-size sedans with a reputation for longevity and value, such as the Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, dominate the firm’s list, while durable domestics Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge are the Top 3 brands, respectively.

“As this list indicates, these are generally sensible consumers owning practical vehicles and making prudent choices to help them weather and survive an economy that has challenged so many,” said CarFinance CEO Jim Landy. “This is not a list dominated by luxury vehicles — quite the opposite. And with longer ownership cycles and the quality of even the most economical of vehicles higher than ever before, making that investment work for the long term can make a lot of sense in the current economic climate.”

According to CNW Research, auto loan refinancing could top 14.1 percent of existing contracts in 2014, a 12 percent percentage increase since 2012, and a 228 percent increase since 2009. CNW attributed the rise, in part, to the fact that many consumers who purchased during the recession were hit with high interest rates — and refinancing offers the chance to lower that rate.

CNW’s findings are reflected in CarFinance.com’s data, which showed that recession-year models (2007/2008) were among the most refinanced model years. The data also speaks to the greater longevity of today’s vehicles.

The Top 3 model years for refinanced vehicles by below prime consumers were 2008, 2010 and 2007, respectively.

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