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…

 
 
Ask Millennials some questions.
Log in to get started...

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “There was a travel commercial where the mother was stressed and daydreaming about laying on the beach escaping it all and then told the benefits and specials of the travel company. I felt like this commercial made parenting look like a chore and children something to be escaped.” –Female, 32, MA

It’s only April, but talk of prom is already buzzing. Promposals are a trend we highlighted last year, and as they become increasingly popular, they’re also becoming increasingly pricey. According to a Visa survey, this year the creative, out there, and publicized prom invites are costing an average of $324. Although these numbers are only predictions of what will be spent, they illustrate the popularity and growing importance of the new custom. On average, the promposal makes up about a third of the total cost of prom, which for 2015 is said to be $919 for everything including clothes, limos, tickets, flowers, and so on—down 6% from last year. (Washington Post)

Need some midweek inspiration? Well, this will either make you feel motivated or extremely jealous: These 12 teens are probably making more money than you, and if they aren’t now, they will be soon. The list includes a 17-year-old who has made millions with her jewelry company, app developers, self-published authors, and YouTube stars—all “beacons of multi-tasking excellence” who founded their companies while simultaneously going to school, applying to college, and just trying to do normal teenage things. (Inc.)

Here’s another Millennial name to keep an eye on: Olajide “KSI” Olatunji is a 21-year-old YouTube star who has used gaming, vlogging, and his online experience to become a self-made millionaire. KSI is being featured in Vice’s e-sports documentary series, and is reportedly the second most watched YouTube channel in the UK, with almost 9 million subscribers, and 1.5 billion video views. Fans tune in for his “boisterous” personality and energetic gameplay. While some companies have severed ties with the rising star thanks to some NSFW antics, he is continuing to expand his brand to include merchandising, music, and acting. His fame could continue to grow as young e-sports stars become more mainstream figures. (Business Insider)

Grocery shopping: It might not be glamorous, but it is a regular part of most consumers’ lives—including Millennials. As supermarkets struggle, they’re working to win over this generation of shoppers by stocking more of the foods they want, like “local, craft and fermented foods, and big international flavors (i.e., kimchi).” Experts also advise making grocery shopping an experience rather than a chore by hosting seasonal events, tastings, and cooking demos, to foster the “connection and community” Millennials want. Finally, eliminating store visits altogether might be necessary, as the “food tech sector is booming” and young consumers want everyday chores cut out of their schedules. (NPR)

Gender targeting isn’t just an issue in the toy aisle; it’s also extremely common on the mobile apps the next generation is spending a lot of their time on. But some parents don’t want their kids to feel excluded from certain games, or play in spaces where pink is only for girls and only boys can play with cars. Popular app developer Toca Boca recently announced that they’re actively focusing on creating gender neutral content to make all of their games more inclusive. Their Toca Hair Salon app has male, female, and androgynous characters, and the Toca Cars game features a brother and sister who are equally good at driving their cars. From the colors used in a science lab to the shape of robots, the developer works to create “gender balance” and make apps that appeal to boys and girls equally. (coolmomtechToca Boca)

Who has time to sift through data? If you do, please let us know your secret. For those of you who don’t, we have good news. Ypulse regularly publishes informative Infographic Snapshots to make even complex data easy to understand and quick to digest. These infographics are data visualizations that take our proprietary monthly survey stats and synthesize them to tell a story about this generation’s behaviors and views. (Ypulse)

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies