Average Monthly Car Payments Falling As Loan Terms Extend to Record Lengths, According to Edmunds.com


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Average Monthly Car Payments Falling As Loan Terms Extend to Record Lengths, According to Edmunds.com

Santa Monica, CA - Nov 25, 2003 - The average monthly new car payment dropped from $466 per month for cars sold in October 2002 to $447 per month for cars sold in October 2003, according to Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information.

"Ironically, this trend does not reflect lower transaction prices or lower loan amounts, both of which rose during the last year," stated Dr. Jane Liu, Executive Director of Data Analysis for Edmunds.com. "Instead, the lower payments came about because the average financing has stretched from 59.6 months last year to over 62 months this year. Over 38% of last month's new car buyers took out loans for terms exceeding 60 months, as compared to only 24% of car buyers in October 2002."

In October 2003, the average car loan amount was $23,801, an increase of 0.9% from last October's $23,656. And the average finance rate rose from 5.46% in October 2002 to 5.63% in October 2003. So, taking into the increased term lengths this year's new car buyers will pay an average of $285 more in interest.

New car prices are rising from month to month as well. From September to October 2003 the Edmunds.com New Vehicle Price Index rose a remarkable 1.68% to 99.8% (base = 100 set in January 2002), which corresponds to an annual rate of over 22%.

This data was released today with the Edmunds Price Index for new vehicles (EPI-N), which reflects price shifts for the industry as a whole, and can be analyzed by different market segmentation. Similar to the Consumer Price Index, the EPI-N measures the average changes in retail prices for a fixed basket of new vehicles with fixed options over time for the purpose of trend analysis. This index takes into account all of the manufacturers' various United States incentives programs, including subvented interest rates and lease programs as well as cash rebates to consumers and dealers. Edmunds.com also analyzes transaction prices and net prices by country of origin, manufacturer, make and model, reflecting manufacturer-to-consumer rebates, including low APR and special lease programs.

About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Edmunds.com is the premier online resource for automotive information. Its comprehensive set of data, tools and services, including Edmunds.com True Market Value® pricing, is generated by Edmunds Data Services and is licensed to third parties. For example, the company supplies over 800,000 pages of content for AOL's auto channel and NYTimes.com's auto section and delivers monthly data reports to Wall Street analysts. Edmunds.com was named "best car research" site by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "most useful Web site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com StudySM, and was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California and maintains a satellite office in Troy, Michigan.

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