Auto sales continue to grow despite payroll and income tax increases and economic uncertainty caused by the continuing federal budget battles in Washington D.C. Attractive loan rates are a big factor, according to the latest data from Experian Automotive.
“Lower interest rates and longer loan terms made it easier for consumers to finance a vehicle while keeping their payments affordable,” said Melinda Zabritski, director of automotive credit for Experian Automotive. “This, combined with the fact that more vehicle loans went to consumers with credit outside of prime, portends a vital and healthy automotive market.”
Compared with the same period a year earlier, U.S. auto sales have risen more than 8% through the first two months of this year, to more than 2.2 million vehicles, according to Autodata Corp. That comes on top of a 13% gain in 2012.
The relatively high values in the used car market compared with pre-recession pricing also make it easier for people to trade in an older car for a new vehicle now, Zabritski said.