CINCINNATI — Car lease marketplace Swapalease.com reports car lease credit applicants registered a 65.9% approval rate in February, a decrease from the January rate of 67.6%. Lease prices at the dealership are driving more people to seek existing leases offered at “yesterday’s prices” on secondary markets, analysts said, citing Edmunds.com data showing U.S. lessees are paying as much as 26% more than they did in 2016, and more than $1,600 over the life of the lease on average. Record-high vehicle prices, weakening residuals, and rising interest rates were listed as the primary causes.
February saw a slight increase in approval ratings in comparison to February 2018, when only 65.2% of lease applicants were approved. However, the past two years have experienced slightly lower approval ratings when compared with February 2016 (70%) and February 2017 (72.2%).
“We are seeing an increase in the number of applicants looking to take over another person’s lease this month, which usually result in more non-approvals from people who do not have the credentials to take over a lease,” said Scot Hall, executive vice president of Swapalease.com. “Shoppers are seeking alternative outlets like Swapalease.com to shop for new leases, knowing they can find a better deal than what is currently being offered at the dealership.”