Millennials And Car Culture: They Care About Driving, But Not About Driving New Cars

Millennials bring unique attitudes and a different cultural mindset to vehicles than their older peers, but the fact is, they still drive even though they have to abandon text messaging and social media while they do so.

We’ve been seeing plenty of headlines this week about how Millennials don’t like cars and don’t want to drive. The auto industry is sweating because Millennials aren’t buying cars at the same rate that Boomers did in their youth, citing their preference for technology and the Internet over cars. The ultimate question is whether this shift is driven by a new mindset about driving (which will likely not change) or economic conditions (which will likely change). Of course, there’s a possibility that it’s both.

 

Millennials do bring unique attitudes and a different cultural mindset to vehicles, but the fact is, they still drive. But an article in The New York Times cites stats including:

"In 2008, 46.3 percent of potential drivers 19 years old and younger had drivers’ licenses, compared with 64.4 percent in 1998, according to the Federal Highway Administration."

And:

"Forty-six percent of drivers aged 18 to 24 said they would choose Internet access over owning a car, according to the research firm Gartner."

What it fails to note, however, is that new laws restricting licenses for drivers under age 18 took effect during the decade reference, reducing the number of fully licensed teen drivers. As for the 46% of 18-24 year olds who would choose the Internet over driving, that doesn’t reflect the number that would like to do both. What’s more, that figure also means a majority of 18-24 year olds (54%) would choose a car over a computer.

An article in The Atlantic says:

"Growing up in the 'burbs was part of the reason driving was so central to Baby Boomers' lives. Car keys meant freedom. To city dwellers, they mean struggling to find an empty parking spot."

It also notes:

“Surveys have found that 88 percent [of Millennials] want to live in an urban…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “When you unplug you notice things around you a lot more. You pay more attention to the details of your everyday life. You get homework done more quickly. You spend more time with people face to face. You're more likely to go outside and relax. You are less stressed from thinking about everything you have to keep up with online.” -Female, 20, NY

We know that Millennials aren’t turning to traditional sources for news: According to Ypulse’s research, most use social media as their top source, and news websites rank above television. Now Millennial media hub BuzzFeed is creating a new app dedicated to delivering serious news stories to its readers, and hiring a team of journalists to work “round the clock.” The app will be a continuation of the site’s efforts to be a credible journalistic source. (AdAge)

The amount that young consumers are spending on vices like alcohol and junk food depends on where they live. 18-35-year olds in the south spend the most on fast food, with more than 40% saying they go to a drive-through at least twice a week, and the least on coffee compared to the rest of the country. Meanwhile, Millennials in Massachusetts are the most likely to be buying booze, followed up by Colorado and New York. (USA

Millennials are changing the way money is managed, and a slew of startups are rushing to cater to their needs and make budgeting, saving, and investing a turnkey, digital part of their lives. The generation controls roughly $2 trillion in liquid assets and will control $7 trillion by the end of the decade. Though college debt will be a “drag” on their net worth, they’re a group of young savers and over the coming years a “torrent of well-educated Millennials” will be “flooding the ‘mass affluent’ market." (Forbes)

Right now, 67% of Millennials do not feel that any show on TV or online accurately represents them. Can that change? Resident Advisors, a new show produced by Elizabeth Banks, will make an attempt by showing a slice of college life. It’s described as a “workplace comedy set is a college dorm,” will feature an ensemble cast, and could have a digital distributor. (Stream Daily)

Apparently there is a hot new trend online. Some teens are lighting themselves on fire (?!) and posting videos of the stunts to Vine and YouTube with the hashtag #FireChallenge. Some attempting the trend have suffered serious burns, and one video called “Fire Challenge Gone Wrong” was followed up by a “cautionary Vine” in which the teen shows the bandages he is now sporting as a result of his injuries. (Daily Dot)

Exactly how much are Millennials spending every day…and what are they buying? Our tracked data trends have all the stats on that, thanks to our bi-weekly survey of 1000 14-32-year-old Millennials nationwide. Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated charts following average daily spend and items purchased, with spending broken out by age and gender. We do the heavy data lifting for you, and we’re constantly adding new data to our trends. (Ypulse)

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