Do you trade cars like you do cell phones?

Interesting study out today from LeaseTrader.com, which says consumers are trying to get out of leases earlier because they look at their Volkwagens like their Androids: they want the latest cars faster — just like they want the latest smartphones.

LeaseTrader’s survey shows that just like you want to get out of the two-year contract with AT&T a little faster to upgrade, car owners “lease escape” rates have jumped 37.6 percent since 2009.

For the five years previous, the jump rate was just 12.3 percent.

Wonder when Honda is going to let its 2011 Accord leasees get out of their lease, scotch free, if they sign a new two-year agreement for the 2012 Accord — at discounted prices like cell phone companies do.

Here’s the presser:

DRIVERS CHANGE CARS TODAY SAME WAY THEY CHANGE CELL PHONES

Since 2009 Lease Trades For In-Car Tech has Surged on LeaseTrader.com

MIAMI – (September 28, 2011) – LeaseTrader.com, the most recognized name in car leasing, says more people are escaping their lease because they view cars similar to cell phones and crave newer technology features and upgrades more frequently.

In much the same way a cell phone user switches to a newer version with upgraded features before completing the two-year contract, drivers and car enthusiasts are starting to feel the same itch. LeaseTrader.com says its lease-escape rate for this reason has jumped 37.6 percent since 2009. During the previous five-year period from 2004-09 this pool of people grew a tepid 12.3 percent.

“Consumer electronics is an area that’s so important to people today – even non-techies,” said Doug Newcomb, senior editor of technology for Edmunds.com. “The average consumer wants to enjoy the same type of technology features in their car as in their home or smart phone.”

Prior to 2009, the vast majority of drivers using LeaseTrader.com as a way to change vehicles because of technology features resided primarily among higher end luxury and European vehicle leases. 85.3 percent of all trading activity took place among BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Infiniti and Lexus. Since 2009 that population has changed drastically, with Ford (16.2%) and GM (11.1%) stealing a much larger share within the category combining for 27.3 percent of trades.

A lot of the technology being traded for goes well beyond 9-11 assistance, made popular by GM and OnStar. Today, voice-recognition technology, the ability to synch a smart phone with a vehicle, social media capabilities, and local entertainment and dining searches are all popular technology sought out by the leasing crowd. What’s more, these drivers are enjoying better access to vehicle diagnostics, as well as the ability to get stock quotes, movie times and sports scores at their fingertips or through voice command.

“What you’re seeing today is the merging of an explosion in appetite between some very exciting new technology and the consumer’s ability to change their vehicle more frequently,” said Sergio Stiberman, CEO and founder of LeaseTrader.com.

Top Cars On LeaseTrader.com For Technology Trades

BMW 5 Series
Mercedes C Class
BMW 3 Series
Ford Edge
Lincoln MKZ
Chevy Cruze
Lexus GS
Audi A6
Infiniti G37

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