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June 1997

Vehicle ownership, purchases, and leasing: consumer survey data

Ana M. Aizcorbe, Martha Starr-McCluer

The Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances and the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Interview Survey collect detailed information on motor vehicles held by households, including the timing and financial terms of acquisitions and disposals of vehicles. This article explains the basic features of the data on motor vehicles in both surveys. The authors conclude that more research is needed to determine the motivation for leasing vehicles because they find that the data do not support the commonly held notion that liquidity constraints (insufficient access to cash or loans) are a factor in the lease-versus-buy decision.

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