Outstanding auto loans and leases reached a record $1.02 trillion as of June 30, compared to $923.69 million a year earlier, Equifax Inc. said this week.
The report also found captives and banks grew loan originations at similar rates year to date for the first four months, increasing around 10 percent each.
When it comes to tires for high-performance cars, the brands I tend to consider have been Michelin, Pirelli and Goodyear. Thus, I was struck recently when I received a news release from the Tire Rack that not only included another brand in a test set, but noted that Continental’s ExtremeContact DWS was a game-changer.
An abundance of horsepower won’t do a driver much good if he can’t get that power to the ground. It may sound counterintuitive, but a car’s performance begins and ends with its tires.
“Typically a manufacturer has chosen a tire to satisfy a lot of different requirements,” explained Matthew Edmonds, vice president of Tire Rack. “The tires have to provide traction and work well in wet and cold weather. Since the manufacturer doesn’t know where the car is being delivered, the tires have to work in a variety of climates. All season tires do that.”
People don’t pay much attention to their tires until there’s a problem with one. Often they don’t even know their tires are shot until they’re in for some other maintenance issue or their car fails a state inspection. It’s not safe to drive on worn tires, but there’s an easy way to check your tire tread and it no longer involves a penny. The Penny Test has always been the go-to method of determining if your tires are worn out. If you hold a penny upside down in a tread groove and can see the top of Lincoln’s head, then you are in trouble. This indicates a tread depth of less than 2/32? which is unsafe. It’s an easy test, but it might let you think your tires are safe when they are worn out.
According to Tire Rack, a better way to check your tire tread is to break out a quarter and perform the same test with Washington’s head as your guide. As long as his head is covered, you have 4/32? of tread depth which is much safer. Especially in wet weather, that additional tread can significantly shorten the distance your car travels before coming to a stop.
U.S. auto loan and lease balances, fueled by a robust market for new vehicles, have surpassed $1 trillion for the first time, according to the latest Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report.
Total outstanding U.S. auto loans and leases reached $1.021 trillion in June, a year-over-year gain of 10.5 percent. The number of outstanding accounts also grew from the same time a year ago to 73.7 million, an increase of 8 percent, Equifax said this week.