Resource

Driving into debt - Sources

Last updated: 2/12/2019
  1. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Center for Microeconomic Data, Household Debt and Credit Report (Q3 2018), November 2018, data downloaded 5 December 2018 from https://www.newyorkfed.org/microeconomics/hhdc.html.
  2. Transit: Andrew Owen and Brendan Murphy, Accessibility Observatory at University of Minnesota, Access Across America: Transit 2017, June 2018, accessed at http://cts.umn.edu/Publications/ResearchReports/pdfdownload.pl?id=2918; Driving: Andrew Owen, Brendan Murphy and David Levinson, Accessibility Observatory at University of Minnesota, Access Across America: Auto 2016, April 2018, accessed at http://cts.umn.edu/Publications/ResearchReports/pdfdownload.pl?id=2912.
  3. Congressional Budget Office, Public Spending on Transportation and Water Infrastructure, 1956 to 2017, October 2018.
  4. Ibid.
  5. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2017: Table 1300: Age of Reference Person, accessed at https://www.bls.gov/cex/2017/combined/age.pdf.
  6. Based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2017, accessed at https://www.bls.gov/cex/2017/combined/age.pdf. Mean household transportation expenses were $9,576, in 2017, and mean household income was $73,573. Transportation expenses were equivalent to 13 percent of income, representing approximately one hour of an eight-hour working day. (Transportation expenditures also include spending not specifically related to work travel.)
  7. See note 1.
  8. 2018 data: Melinda Zabritski, Experian, State of the Automotive Finance Market: Q3 2018, undated, accessed at https://www.experian.com/content/dam/marketing/na/automotive/quarterly-webinars/q3-2018-safm-v2.pdf; previous years’ data: Melinda Zabritski, Experian, Automotive Market Update, 2014, accessed on 8 April 2018, archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20180410215614/https://www.slideshare.net/Ex....
  9. See note 1.
  10. Percentage of GDP calculated based on outstanding auto loan balances from Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Consumer Credit – G.19, data downloaded from https://www.federalreserve.gov/datadownload/Build.aspx?rel=g19, 21 December 2018; and nominal GDP from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Gross Domestic Product, Billions of Dollars, Quarterly, Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, data downloaded from https://fred.stlouisfed.org, 21 December 2018. Note: the Federal Reserve Board reports lower outstanding auto loan balances than the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose data are used in most of this report, due to differing underlying data sources. (The New York Fed data are based on credit reports, while the Federal Reserve data are based on reports from lenders.)
  11. 2004 and after: See note 1; 1999-2003: Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Center for Microeconomic Data, Household Debt and Credit Report, 1999-2003 Data (Excel spreadsheet), downloaded from https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/national_economy/..., 4 July 2018; inflation adjustment based on Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Consumer Price Index: Total All Items for United States, downloaded 21 December 2018 from https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CPALTT01USQ661S.
  12. Auto debt by age: Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Household Debt Statistics by Age (2004-2017), accessed 4 July 2018; population estimates by age: (2000-2009) U.S. Census Bureau, Intercensal Estimates of the Resident Population by Single Year of Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2010, downloaded from https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/popest/datasets/2000-2010/inter..., 4 July 2018; (2010-17) U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population by Single Year of Age and Sex for the United States: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017, downloaded from https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/popest/datasets/2010-2017/natio..., 4 July 2018. Figures are not adjusted for inflation.
  13. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Lending by Neighborhood Income Level (Excel workbook), accessed at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/data-research/consumer-credit-trends/aut..., 21 December 2018.
  14. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Center for Microeconomic Data, State Level Household Debt Statistics 2003-2017, February 2018, data downloaded 29 August 2018 from https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/Interactives/householdcredit/dat....
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ben McLannahan, “Debt Pile-up in U.S. Car Market Sparks Subprime Fear,” The Financial Times, 29 May 2017.
  17. Kathleen W. Johnson, et al., Federal Reserve, Auto Sales and Credit Supply, September 2014, accessed at https://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/feds/2014/files/201482pap.pdf.
  18. Orazio P. Attanasio, Pinelopi K. Goldberg and Ekaterini Kyriazidou, Credit Constraints in the Market for Consumer Durables: Evidence from Micro Data on Car Loans, March 2007.
  19. Michael Manville, et al., UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, Falling Transit Ridership: California and Southern California, January 2018.
  20. Kenneth P. Brevoort, et al., Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Quarterly Consumer Trends: Growth in Longer-Term Auto Loans, November 2017, accessed at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_consumer-credit-trends....
  21. Matt Jones, “Upside Down and Underwater on a Car Loan,” Edmunds, 6 April 2018.
  22. Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Michael Corkery, “The Car Was Repossessed, But the Debt Remains,” New York Times, 18 June 2017.
  23. See “Misleading and Incomplete Information,” page 26.
  24. See, for example, Matt Scully, “Auto Lender Santander Checked Income on Just Eight Percent in Subprime ABS,” Bloomberg, 22 May 2017, accessed at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-22/subprime-auto-giant-c....
  25. See “Discriminatory Practices,” page 27.
  26. See “Bogus and Unnecessary Fees and Products,” page 28.
  27. See “Abusive Collections and Repossession Tactics,” page 29.

Download the full report as a PDF to see all of our sources. 

Support Us

Your donation supports U.S. PIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.

Consumer Alerts

Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates and take action on critical issues.
Optional Member Code