NEW YORK (MainStreet) Americans love their cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles.
So much so that car purchases by cash volume are at an all-time high, according to a Edmunds.com Car Shopping Trends Report.
Edmunds reports the average amount of cash consumers spent on new vehicles last year was $30,803. Furthermore, car buyers are digging deeper to pay for extras, with $2,200 on average spent on new vehicle options last year.
What else did Edmunds uncover about U.S. car purchase trends?
- About 66% of new vehicle buyers want to be "highly engaged" in the vehicle shopping experience, especially in using consumer reviews and relying on online photos to make a purchase.
- New-vehicle leasing is increasingly popular with car consumers, with the average monthly lease payment at $433 this year.
- Luxury car buyers are taking a closer look at non-luxury vehicles and liking what they see. According to Edmunds, it's not about the price or even the quality of luxury cars, SUVs and trucks. It's more about the "improved quality" of non-luxury vehicles.
- Consumers are generally following through on their spending plans, but spending a wee bit more than they expected. They told Edmunds in 2011 that they planned to spend $30,500 for a new vehicle but wound up spending an average $30,583; last year they spent an actual average $30,803 on new cars and trucks.
- Car buyers like to stick with a maker ... a little less than they did. About 44% of new-vehicle buyers buy or lease the same brand they trade in. That figure is down from 49% in 2011, Edmunds says.
In addition, most new car buyers are waiting until the weekend to pull the trigger Saturday is far and away the most popular day to purchase a new vehicle of the week.