Luxury vehicles brighten the holiday season

New analysis provides insight into the luxury vehicle market and examines characteristics of the luxury vehicle buyer

Schaumburg, Ill., Dec. 09, 2015 — The holiday season has long been built on the tradition of spending time with family and friends, but did you know that consumers also include luxury vehicle shopping in their holiday pastimes? Experian Automotive today announced an analysis that found more than 10 percent of all luxury vehicle registrations between 2010 and 2014 occurred in December. The next highest month was November, at 8.8 percent.

“Every year as the holiday season nears, consumers can expect to see a number of commercials and marketing campaigns advertising incentives on luxury vehicle models,” said Brad Smith, Experian’s director of automotive market statistics. “While some consumers may be intrigued by the seasonal deals, others may be driven by the enjoyment of attaching the big red bow to the car as a gift. Either way, December is considered — by far — to be luxury vehicle month. By gaining insight into the trends that drive this demand, dealers and retailers will be better positioned to manage inventory and target prospective customers.”

Experian® also examined the demographic and credit characteristics of consumers who purchase a luxury vehicle and found that they are more affluent and a lower credit risk than the general population. Findings show that individuals who earn more than $100,000 per year are 66 percent more likely to purchase a luxury vehicle, while consumers over the age of 40 are 8 percent more likely and men are 4 percent more likely. Furthermore, the average credit score for a luxury vehicle buyer is 746, which is 36 points higher than the credit score for an average new car buyer.

Additionally, the analysis found that 54 percent of consumers who purchase a luxury vehicle do so with a lease, while 30 percent take out a loan and 16 percent pay in cash.

“Given the increased price for luxury vehicles compared with other vehicle segments, it’s understandable that the average buyer has a more affluent background,” said Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s senior director of automotive finance. “That being said, it’s clear that these consumers still are exploring ways to keep their monthly payments low. By choosing to lease vehicles, consumers are able to lower their payments by more than $160 a month.”

Findings from the analysis also show that the top five luxury brands are Lexus (18.2 percent), Mercedes-Benz (17 percent), BMW (16.4 percent), Acura (9.5 percent) and Audi (9.5 percent). At the model level, the top five are the Lexus RX 350 (5.1 percent), Mercedes-Benz C Class (4.1 percent), BMW 3 Series (4 percent), Acura MDX (3.2 percent) and Lexus ES 350 (2.9 percent).

Other findings:

• The average loan amount for a luxury vehicle is $42,876, nearly $14,000 higher than the average new vehicle loan amount
• During the third quarter of 2015, the average monthly payment for a luxury vehicle was $755, approximately $273 higher than the overall average monthly payment for a new vehicle
• Tesla has the highest average monthly payment for luxury vehicles at $1,285, while Acura has the lowest, at $605
• The average monthly lease payment for a luxury vehicle is $592, approximately $194 higher than the average new vehicle monthly lease payment
• The average interest rate for a luxury vehicle is 3.1 percent, compared with 4.6 percent across all vehicle segments
• Sport utility vehicles are the top luxury vehicle body style (46.4 percent), followed by sedans (41.8 percent) and coupés (6.5 percent)

Roslyn Whitehurst
Experian Public Relations
1 714 830 5578
Twitter: @RozWhitehurst

About Experian Automotive
Experian Automotive provides information services and market intelligence that enables results-driven professionals to gain the fullest possible understanding of the market, the vehicles and the people who buy them. Its North American Vehicle DatabaseSM houses data on nearly 700 million vehicles and, when combined with Experian’s credit, consumer and business information, provides an integrated perspective into the automotive marketplace. Experian Automotive’s AutoCheck® vehicle history reports provide dealers and consumers with in-depth information, allowing them to confidently understand, compare and select the right vehicles. For more information on Experian Automotive and its suite of services, visit our Website at

About Experian
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