Jan 31, 2012, 08:00 ET
CINCINNATI, Jan. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The roller coaster economy of 2011 proved to be a boon for the automobile leasing industry – and for Cincinnati-based Swapalease.com, the only full-service online marketplace of in-process vehicle leases. The website reported a 28% increase in online searches for available vehicles when compared to searches in 2010. Swapalease.com predicts that the trend will continue in 2012, as a result of projected increases in new car sales as well as lease penetration levels maintaining at nearly 20%. New car sales are projected at 14 million in 2012 – a more than 10% increase over last year equating to almost 3 million new leases hitting the road.
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"The increase in searches on our website is a clear sign that interest in leased vehicles is growing. Overall increased lease interest is the direct result of used vehicle values remaining strong throughout 2011 resulting in higher residual values. Higher residual values ultimately mean lower monthly lease payments for consumers," said Scot Hall, EVP of Operations at Swapalease.com. He added, "The lower payments offered by leasing and the ability to easily transfer most leases are the solution to the problem of driving the car you want while an uncertain economy rebounds."
Economic factors and high used car values were both components of the leasing industry's uptick, but the customary benefits of leasing cannot be overlooked. Lower monthly payments, shorter term commitments, and smaller upfront cash requirements will always be compelling reasons for consumers to lease their next vehicle. Swapalease.com users have also noted that they prefer leasing because it permits always driving a vehicle under factor warranty, benefiting from the newest safety features, as well as taking advantage of leaps forward in fuel economy much sooner than they could through other financing methods.
Hall also cited a new feature of Swapalease.com - an enhanced search process based on client feedback that launched early in quarter four of 2011. Swapalease.com representatives noted that the new search process should be viewed as a work in progress, rather than a finished product. This is due to it being regarded as the most important function of the pioneering transfer web site and that user feedback will always be taken into consideration. Search processes on Swapalease.com are now more intuitive like other popular search heavy websites such as Bestbuy.com, Cars.com, and Ebay.com.
"We look forward to a great year in 2012," Hall concluded. "All the indicators are in place for leasing to continue its increase in popularity."
Swapalease.com, the only full-service online marketplace of in-process vehicle leases, matches individuals who want to get out of their lease with people who are looking for short-term lease agreements. Prospective buyers can search the listings for the exact vehicle they want, and then register for a nominal fee, allowing them to use Swapalease.com's safe online system to contact the prospective seller and close the deal.
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