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Young People Are Driving Less, and Want Cars More Than Ever

Young consumers are commuting and driving less than they had before—but their interest in cars is actually stronger than ever. Here’s a look at what’s happening…


The pandemic has no doubt significantly impacted young consumers’ transportation behaviors. With many now working and learning from home, they’re commuting, driving, and riding public transportation much less than they once use to—which may lead some to wonder if transportation will ever be the same again.

YPulse’s recently released trend report Driving Forward found that the pandemic and quarantines have actually sparked a newfound appreciation for cars for Gen Z and Millennials. Among the more than half of young consumers who own or lease their cars, 79% agree that they appreciate their car more because of COVID versus the 34% who say that they feel like their car has been less useful. In fact, because of COVID, close to two in ten young consumers have become more interested in car purchasing, and 11% of 20-38-year-olds have purchased—that’s around nine million Millennials. Young people are confined their homes and desperately needing escapes, and cars are the safer and more isolated form of transportation they’re looking for. Cars are also becoming a vehicle (pun intended) for brands to stay connected with young consumers and provide in-person experiences.

But the interest of cars won’t fade away with the virus. In early 2020, YPulse data revealed that cars/vehicles were the top purchase young consumers wanted to make this year. And while the pandemic has most likely presented complications for many who planned to purchase a car, the majority of both Gen Z and Millennials tell YPulse that they plan to buy a car within the next few years. Car ownership is still the goal for young people, but they have different values than the generations that came before them, and the events that are shaping their worlds are shifting their desires.

For more insight into young consumers, cars, commutes, and more transportation shifts register for the Driving Forward trend webinar, and check out an infographic preview of the trend report below!

Download the full infographic here!

Not a YPulse subscriber? Click here to find out more about accessing the report.