SCHAUMBURG, Illinois — Leasing accounted for nearly 27 percent of all new-vehicle transactions in the third quarter, up from 24.7 percent the previous year, according to the new Experian Q3 2015 State of the Automotive Finance report released on Wednesday.
This is the highest percentage of vehicles leased since the firm began tracking data publicly in 2006.
The average monthly lease payment was $398 during the quarter, up $1 from a year ago, the report noted.
"As the price for a new or used vehicle continues to rise, leasing has become a more viable financing option for consumers looking to maintain an affordable monthly payment," said Melinda Zabritski, Experian's senior director of automotive finance, in a statement.
The average monthly payment for a new vehicle during Q3 2015 was $482, up $12 from the previous year.
The average monthly payment for a used vehicle reached $361, an increase of $2 from the previous year.
In addition, the percentage of new vehicles financed reached an all-time high of 86.6 percent.
Experian said consumers are also dealing with record loan amounts for new and used vehicles.
The average amount financed for a new vehicle was $28,936 in the third quarter, up $1,137 from the previous year.
The average amounted financed for a used vehicle was $18,866, up $290 over the same time period.