CINCINNATI, Ohio — Swapalease.com, the national car lease marketplace, reported this week that lease approvals were up slightly in December (73.3%) compared with November levels (70%). The lease approval rate ended 2013 at 72.7%, up from 65.3% at the end of 2012.
Holiday lease shopping from a higher population of well-qualified lessees helped improve the credit approval rate from November, when just 70% of applicants were approved. Prior to December, the lease credit approval rate had slipped to 67.9%, which Swapalease.com executives attributed to higher volume of less-than-ideal credit shoppers dragging down the rate.
Historical marketplace trends show that a 70% credit approvals rate is considered healthy for Swapalease.com. The approvals rate had jumped as high as 76% in June of this year before dipping back down, mostly as a result of a higher influx of younger drivers dealing with high levels of student loan debt.
“We anticipated that 2013 would outperform 2012 levels due to the rising health of the automotive industry and overall economic conditions that continue to improve,” said Scot Hall, executive vice president of Swapalease.com. “The appetite for leasing should remain solid in 2014 and we believe we will maintain several months of healthy approvals activity, pending unforeseen economic climate conditions.”
Cox Automotive’s latest Dealer Sentiment Index shows a marked disparity in optimism and fear factors between America’s new- and used-car dealers.