5 Top Cars Boomers Love to Lease

DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- Those lovable baby boomers are at it again, trying to change the world on their terms.

Relaxed-fit jeans, adventure travel and "60 is the new 40" are already part of it. Now, LeaseTrader.com, a Web site that matches lessees with people who want to give up their leases before the expiration date, has issued a report that says boomers like to lease cars.

According to the report, baby boomers represent 48% of LeaseTrader.com customers, compared with 15% in 2000. (Boomers are considered to be between ages 50 and 65.)

"More than any other age group or demographic, boomers have been the biggest growth segment for LeaseTrader.com over the last ten years," said LeaseTrader.com CEO Sergio Stiberman, in a prepared statement.

Michelle Krebs, an analyst for Edmunds.com, said in a prepared statement that "boomers have gotten used to the thought of always paying for something, as opposed to financing a car and driving for several years with no payment." In this respect, boomers differ from their parents, who used to buy a car and drive it for 10 years or longer.

The report also said that a lot of baby boomers have lost jobs with big companies, re-emerging as entrepreneurs and small business owners who lease cars for tax purposes.

Read on for the top five vehicles with leases that baby boomers took over from LeaseTrader.com in 2010, based on a survey that included 1,650 LeaseTrader.com customers.

No. 5: Lexus ES

The Lexus ES accounted for 7.8% of boomer takeovers in 2010.

John Sternal, LeaseTrader.com spokesman, called the car "an excellent entry-level luxury lease for boomers, who have become synonymous with the Lexus brand."

If you are wondering why so many Toyota products appear on this list, Sternal said it is because Toyota and Lexus "have good lease policies that are extremely customer friendly." The policies include minimal restrictions on transfers, processing time of just a few weeks and a relatively low fee of $200, he said.

No. 4: Mercedes E350

The Mercedes E350 accounted for 8.2% of LeaseTrader.com boomer takeovers in 2010.

"For boomers with wealth, the E350 is a car they relate to," Sternal said. "Mercedes offers attractive lease programs through targeted marketing."

By the way, this list does not include any vehicles from GM's ( GM) Cadillac division. "We see fewer people in the boomer age group leasing a Cadillac today, compared with 10 years ago," Sternal said. But Cadillac is now targeting younger drivers.

No. 3: Honda Accord

The Honda ( HMC) Accord accounted for 8.9% of boomer takeovers in 2010.

The high rankings for the Camry and Accord reflect a change from a decade ago, when 95% of lessees opted for luxury cars. Today, 13% lease compacts and 11% lease hybrids.

"Boomers are still leasing luxury vehicles, but the non-luxury vehicles are much more a part of the mix today," Sternal said. The Honda Civic is also gaining share, he said, and added a GM entry: "With the success the Chevy Cruze has been having, I anticipate the Cruze will be a big part of this mix by next year."

No. 2: Toyota Camry

The Toyota ( TM) Camry was second, accounting for 9.6% of boomer takeovers in 2010.

"Boomers grew up with the Camry and know it to be a dependable car," Sternal said. "Attractive monthly payments make it an economical lease choice."

No. 1: Lexus RX

The Lexus RX finished first, accounting for 12.4% of boomer takeovers in 2010.

The Lexus RX is "a comfortable SUV that offers a decent mix of luxury at a good price," said Sternal. "It's perfect for boomers who want style at an attractive lease price."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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