Leases are gaining traction in an unlikely area: the small-car class. This is according to Swapalease.com, which released a report on Thursday that said small-car leasing swaps boomed 33% in 2012, outpacing 2011's 18% growth. The Cincinnati-based website counts everything from entry-level runabouts to traditional non-luxury subcompacts and compacts in the group, whose growth exceeded trucks (up 26%) but not luxury cars (up 38%).
Small cars took up a bigger piece of Swapalease.com's pie, but overall inventory increased just 9%. Spokesman John Sternal told us midsize cars, by contrast, were the big loser.
Does that mean actual leasing among small cars has improved? It's hard to say. The increase in overall small-car popularity in 2012 could be responsible for some of the leasing gain. New-car sales for all traditional non-luxury small cars improved 17.2% versus 2011, according to Automotive News data. Leasing overall continued to grow in 2012; CNW Marketing Research reported year-over-year leasing gains every single month.