The average amount financed and average monthly payment for new vehicles in the fourth quarter rose to their highest level since Experian Automotive began tracking the data in 2008, the company said today.

To stay within their budgets, consumers are relying on leases and used-vehicle purchases, Experian said.

The average amount financed on a new vehicle was $29,551 in the fourth quarter, a 4 percent, or $1,170, increase year over year. The average monthly payment on a new vehicle was $493, a 2.3 percent, or $11, rise vs. the fourth quarter of 2014, according to part two of Experian’s State of the Automotive Finance Market report. The previous high for new-vehicle monthly payment was in the first quarter of 2015 at $488.

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Consumers Taking On More Car Debt Than Ever - Average Monthly Car Payment Is Closing In  On $500

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