Statistics Canada reported that the average value of new auto loans in Canada jumped to $5,000 in December from $2,000 a year earlier.
But in some cases, the numbers are far higher.
In the last six months, average auto loan values have jumped by more than $2.5 million in Quebec, and by nearly $2 million in Alberta, the latest figures show.
That’s in spite of the fact that Alberta’s provincial auto lending program has fallen behind provincial regulations.
The average value for new auto loan in Ontario jumped by nearly 40 per cent over the past six months.
The latest figures from Statistics Canada, released Friday, show that average monthly car loans in Ontario have jumped nearly 50 per cent since the start of the year, to more than one million dollars.
That’s about the same as the average monthly value in the rest of Canada.
That suggests that Ontario is doing much better than other provinces in managing its automotive lending market, said economist James Reggio.
But there are still some major challenges.
Ontario’s share of Canada’s new auto lending is still lower than the national average, but that’s expected to change in coming months, as the province starts to open up to the rest to start lending.
As of March, only five per cent of auto loans were originated by Ontarians.
That number will likely increase over the next several months as more people start to take advantage of the program.
“The reason Ontario is so much higher than the rest is because we are still the only province in the country that has no regulation,” said Reggios.
The provincial government has also started to allow new applicants to choose their loan type from an online portal.
The number of people who are eligible to borrow is much higher, but the government is taking steps to ensure that the people who do get loans have the right paperwork and to make sure they have access to credit counseling.
The province’s auto lending programs also have a lot of overlap with the federal government’s auto insurance program, which is also helping the province’s car dealers.
Statistics Canada says that for the first time, a majority of the auto loans originated in Canada in the first six months of the financial year were issued to Canadians over the age of 65, a demographic group that is at particular risk of auto insurance coverage cuts.
The federal government has been ramping up its efforts to support Ontario’s auto dealerships in the past few months, and Statistics Canada has said that it expects to be spending more than a billion dollars over the coming two years on a new program called the Auto Financing Strategy.