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How Often Do People Want To Change Their Car

How do men and women view change within the auto industry? wanted an inside look to see if the average three-year lease was viewed as too short, too long, or just right for some consumers.

It also corresponds to mobile technology, which appears to be just as permeable to a desire or change as the auto industry. In fact, according to Recon Analytics, a research firm that monitors the worldwide mobile industry, Americans change their phones most frequently compared to every other country. Americans change their cell phones every 21.7 months, and this number is expected to drop with the introduction of new contract-escape-friendly plans offered by the cellular providers.

Below are the results of key questions asked in an online survey conducted by, presented to more than 1,000 drivers across the U.S. from February 8 through February 22, 2014.

Executive Summary

1: Consumers wish to view vehicles as easily interchangeable technology like mobile technology.
2: Refreshing a vehicle under warranty is the number-one reason today why people wish to change their vehicles frequently.
3: BMW and Mercedes-Benz reign as the most popular cars of next year, while Chrysler and Dodge scored lowest among brands people want to switch over to.
4: In terms of other change preferences, most women would like to change their job/career, while most men would like to change the location where they live.

1.1: Assuming cost was not an issue, would you like to change vehicles as often as you change your mobile phone?

Yes 59.5%60.7%
Even more frequently11.8%13.1%

1.2: How often have you upgraded or changed your mobile phone in the past few years?

Every year11.9%16.2%
Every 2 years61.1% 62.7%
Every 3 years16.8% 12.7%
Every 4 years4.8%3.4%

1.3: Assuming cost was not an issue, how often would you like to change vehicles?

AnswerMale Female
Every 6 months6.1%3.4%
Every 12 months 23.3%20.9%
Every 24 months 37.2%38.3%
Every 3 years23.6%20.9%
Every 4 years7.0%9.3% Analysis:

The length of personal use of a car lease continues to mirror that of a mobile phone, particularly in the U.S. According to the results of the latest survey from, both men and women prefer to change their vehicle as often as they change their cell phone. Additionally, according to listing data from the marketplace in February, 2014, drivers are listing their vehicles with an average time of 22.0 months remaining on the average 36-month lease contract. This means the average person looks to escape their car lease 14 months into the contract. By comparison, Americans changed their cell phones every 21.7 months in 2011 according to cellular research firm Recon Analytics. A more recent report on NPR showed that Americans now change their cell phone an average of 16 months.

2.1: What are the primary reason(s) that you would like to change vehicles?

To get a new model41.7%47.6%
To get a vehicle with less miles24.7%32.5%
To get a vehicle that is under warranty 42.0%50.0%
To move to a new make15.5%17.4%
I like to have a vehicle with the latest features31.4%39.5%
Because I want to drive something different39.0%40.7%
Because my lifestyle has changed7.6%11.6%
Because of financial reasons5.7%13.9% Analysis:

Historically, lifestyle and financial reasons have always dominated the responses and reasons why drivers and car shoppers use For the first time in the history of the company, the importance of getting, and driving, a vehicle that’s constantly under warranty is the number one reason people want to change their vehicle. believes the main reason for this is that fewer drivers are taking a deep interest in their car and are not interested in learning about their car from a service standpoint. Today’s average driver views his or her car as simply a feature-rich piece of hardware that aims to serve as transportation. As such, drivers are not interested in the details behind servicing their vehicle and would like to avoid driving an older-model vehicle that’s prone to service above and beyond normal checkups needed within the first 36 months of a vehicle’s lifecycle.

3.1: Assuming cost was not an issue, which of the following makes of vehicles would you like to change to in the future?

BMW 42.3%46.5%
GMC 7.3%11.6%
Kia 4.6%10.4%
Lincoln 11.0%16.2%

Swapalease Analysis:

BMW and Mercedes-Benz continue to receive high marks from both men and women on the marketplace. What’s interesting according to these results, though, is that Audi has overtaken Lexus in the third place preference, a spot Lexus has held until recently. It is also interesting to note that a larger population of women prefer Lexus to men, similar to Infiniti. Despite its recent attempts to drive new interest, Dodge and Chrysler scored low marks on the preference scale for both men and women, and Kia scored low for men.

4.1: Besides your car, what else would you like to change more frequently today?

AnswerMale Female
Location where I live31.4%26.8%

Swapalease Analysis:

People view change differently for a variety of lifestyle-related issues, particularly as we continue to separate from the Great Recession. According to these results, women would like to change their job and career at a larger clip than men. However, in terms of changing the locale of one’s residence, more men would prefer a change of scenery compared with women. Other items not listed but also getting write-in votes included wardrobe, home electronics and furniture for women. Other items included for men were dining locations, computers and vacation choices.

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Terminating a Car Lease

The problem:

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Find someone to take over your lease through service such as The site charges a fee to post a listing, and say finding someone is easiest for leases with 24 months or less left.

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