Where to find the most-responsible shopper behaviors – Edmunds

Few car shoppers are average.

But averages taken from a survey of 842,000 vehicle transactions by automotive information website Edmunds.com are at least interesting from a dealership standpoint.

Because those averages deal with responsible behavior by car shoppers.

Edmunds.com based the conclusions in its state-by-state ranking of responsible car-shopping behavior on averages for four major factors: Trade-in with negative equity – under water, upside down – the dollar amount of negative equity, financing term and interest rate (APR).

110717 IL Personal touch important, even though car shoppers want digital optionsThe survey results suggested that shoppers in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions show the highest levels of responsible car shopping, while states mainly in the South and Southwest show the least-responsible behavior, based on a study by Edmunds.com.

The automotive information website found that Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island “lead the country in responsible car-shopping behavior” looking at transactions from May through September. Shoppers in New Mexico ranked last in responsible behavior, according to Edmunds.

Combining scores in all four categories, the Edmunds state-by-state rankings showed the following:

Most-responsible shoppers

  1. Connecticut
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Michigan
  5. New Jersey
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Wisconsin
  8. New York
  9. Hawaii
  10. Maine

Least-responsible shoppers

  1. New Mexico
  2. Arkansas
  3. Alaska
  4. Mississippi
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Arizona
  7. Florida
  8. Texas
  9. Georgia
  10. Wyoming

Edmunds’ map of responsible shopping behavior by state shows where other states fall on a scale from Most Responsible (1-17) to Responsible (18-34) to Least Responsible (35-50).

Here is a summary of detailed results for each factor Edmunds considered in the rankings:

Trade-in with negative equity

Connecticut (10 percent), Massachusetts and Rhode Island (11 percent), and New Jersey (12 percent) shoppers are most responsible on average based on the low percentage of trade-ins under water, with negative equity ranging up to 33 percent in Arkansas and 32 percent in New Mexico.

Negative equity amount

Shoppers in Connecticut ($4,499), Massachusetts ($4,686) and Rhode Island ($4,694) also had trade-ins with the lowest dollar amount of negative equity, with Wisconsin ($4,724) and Pennsylvania ($4,799) also coming in below $5,000. The highest amount of negative equity was for trade-ins in Alaska ($6,852).

Length of financing

Car shoppers in Connecticut (64.2 months), Massachusetts (64.9 months), New York (65.6 months) and New Jersey (65.9 months) financed their vehicles for the shortest terms on average. The longest financing terms were found in Alaska at 74.6 months and New Mexico at 72.4 months.

Average interest rate (APR)

Only borrowers in Connecticut scored an average APR under 4 percent at 3.97 percent, while borrowers in Georgia (7.65 percent), Mississippi (7.2 percent) and New Mexico (7.06 percent) were paying the highest average APR, according to Edmunds’ data.

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