Average monthly payment hits an all-time high of $503.

Experian Automotive has released its new State of the Automotive Finance Market report which reveals leasing has reached its highest level on record.

According to the company's findings, 31.1 percent of new vehicle transactions during the first quarter of 2016 were leases.  Used vehicle leasing, which is less common, also increased 2.1 percent from a year ago.

According to Experian’s senior director of automotive finance, Melinda Zabritski, “The continued rise in new vehicle costs have kept many consumers exploring options to keep their monthly payments affordable."  She added, "As long as vehicle prices continue to rise, we can expect leasing rates to grow along with them."

The report also found the average loan amount for a new vehicle reached an all-time high of $30,032.  The increase seems to have had an impact on buyers as the average loan term for new vehicles increased to 68 months.  The increased loan periods didn't have much effect on monthly payments as the average monthly payment for a new vehicle loan hit an all-time high of $503.

On the topic of interest rates, Experian found new vehicle loans carry an average rate of 4.79 percent.  Used car buyers are worse off as the average rate is 7.81 percent for at a franchise dealer and 12.22 percent at independent dealers.

Source: Experian

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