People from Georgia have been known for keeping their cars in great shape and avoiding the cost of paying for a new vehicle, but a new report shows that after their car has run its course, residents of the state are looking to buy new cars instead of used.
According to a recent report released by Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, "Pay Attention," new cars are becoming more appealing to Georgians, which could spark an uptick in the sales of new cars there.
The report showed that consumers are showing recovering from the economic recession, which placed many Americans in financial binds, but they remain cautious of how they spend their money, worrying about their financial futures and wondering if they will ever be able to retire.
"Georgia consumers have shifted spending and saving habits over the last several years to offset the struggles they experience during economic doldrums," said Mike Mercer, GCUA's president and CEO. "As we see in this latest report, Georgians are driving their cars and trucks until the last crank. But when it comes time to replace their mode of transportation, they're finding it makes more sense to buy new instead of used."
The report detailed that during the first quarter of 2012, new car loans increased by 3.89 percent, which is a significant increase compared with the 0.52 percent increase during the first quarter of 2011. Loans for used vehicle also increased 0.19 percent during the first quarter.
As proof that Georgians are being more cautious about their spending habits, savings account balances at the state's credit unions have increased 5.5 percent, while credit card balances have fell 4.66 percent.
"Consumers aren't afraid to spend more when they know it's a good investment," Mercer said. "This change in spending and growth in new car purchases is a positive sign, especially when Georgians' savings balances are growing simultaneously."
Out of those surveyed who were not satisfied with their current retirement savings, 35.5 percent said they were saving more to increase their retirement savings.
Fuel economy might also be important to Georgians who are trying to save money for retirement. FuelEconomy.gov recently rated the least fuel-efficient cars in 2012, which might have some Americans avoiding the Cadillac CTS Wagon, which was rated the least fuel-efficient small station wagon, with a rating of 14 miles per gallon.