In both cases, those payments were up slightly compared to figures reported by Experian for the prior-year quarter. The total amount financed hit a record $29,551 during the fourth quarter, marking an increase of more than $1,000 compared with the same period in 2014.
Experian said the average auto loan now stretches to a term of five years and seven months. The report also shows continued growth in sales to those with subprime and deep subprime credit ratings. Experian said loans to consumers with those credit records were up 9.3 percent and 14.7 percent, respectively.
In a separate report last month, Zabritski said the growth in subprime and deep subprime loans were "worth keeping an eye on," but lenders are so far managing the risk.
Zabritski said it's possible that America's appetite to lease a new car or truck will continue. However, the market will soon be pressured by a wave of 3-year-old vehicles coming off lease. Because vehicles of this age are often in good shape and have fewer than 40,000 miles, they could entice some drivers to consider buying used instead of leasing a new model.
"Leasing will stay strong, but we could be hitting the limit," she said.
Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com.