Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are the most sought-after luxury cars in the US for auto loans, LendingTree data analysis shows


One of the largest online lending marketplaces LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE ) contacted me this morning with an interesting study they conducted using auto loan data inquiries they have been collecting for about 2 years from their platform.

The study found that electric car maker Tesla is quickly reaching the top of the charts when it comes to people inquiring about car loans online.

When this data was analyzed for specific luxury car models, the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y topped the rankings with the 1st and 2nd positions, respectively. Interestingly, the Tesla Model S also found its place in the top 10 with the 6th position (see graph below).

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Top 10 luxury cars people are looking for car loan options on LendingTree.com. Source: LendingTree data analysis over a 2-year period (July 2020 to June 2022).

With 6.6% of all inquiries made for luxury cars, the Tesla Model 3 has the largest share of auto loan inquiries made on the LendingTree platform. Its closest competitor is Tesla’s own electric SUV Model Y with a 4.7% share.

The BMW 3 Series is in 3rd position with a 4.3% share for luxury car inquiries made on LendingTree over the past two years. The BMW 5 Series scored 2.2% and the BMW X5 – 1.7%. The total share for BMW in the Top 10 is 8.2%.

With the Model S taking a 1.9% share of luxury car demand in the United States, Tesla holds a total of 13.2% of that interest.

LendingTree found that 1 in 5 auto loan inquiries in the US are for luxury cars. In metros like San Jose, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the percentage is even higher, and Tesla seems to hold the crown in this segment with a promising future.

Specifically, San Jose, California ranked highest. Nearly 4 in 10 (39.5%) of auto loan inquiries in the metro are for luxury cars. After that, San Francisco ranks second (39.4%), and Los Angeles (38.4%) is third.

LendingTree Research

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The following chart is also interesting as it proves that Tesla is quickly overtaking BMW as the most popular brand when it comes to luxury cars. In the overall analysis of luxury car inquiries made on LendingTree, Tesla is in 2nd position with a share of 14.4% just behind BMW which holds a share of 17.5%.

Top 10 Luxury Car Brands Prospective Buyers Ask About for Car Loans in the United States (LendingTree.com Data Analysis). Source: LendingTree data analysis over a 2-year period (July 2020 to June 2022).

With Tesla catching up quickly and still in the process of ramping up production, it could be a matter of a few years before Tesla rules this ranking as well.

Seeing Porsche in 10th position with only 4.0% of inquiries is not a good feeling, especially after the Taycan EV came out.

Another interesting chart to look at from this analysis is the percentage of luxury car requests made by the 10 largest states in the United States. One could easily assume it would be California – but it’s D.C. with 32.4% and 35.5% respectively.

Top 10 US states with the most luxury car inquiries on the LendingTree platform. Source: Data
analysis by LendingTree covering 2 years (July 2020 to June 2022).

LendingTree.com is one of the most widely used platforms where potential car buyers search for car loan options. On average, there are about 7.5 million visitors each month who search for cars and other loans online (source: similarweb.com).

You can read LendingTree’s detailed study here, it has a few more findings you may be interested in learning about.

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