Millennial Drivers Survey: Young Drivers Just as Likely to Buy in the Future

Millennials are driving less than previous generations, including to industry experts including SafeAuto. There are many potential reasons for this decline, including cost and the rise of other potential transportation options especially in cities. So how many young consumers currently own vehicles? And how many see themselves driving in the future? We asked 1,000 respondents on September 30-October 2 about their driving habits and their thoughts on automotive brands.

millennial drivers

Popular Brands

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 71% of respondents said that they currently own or lease a vehicle. 6% don’t currently own one, but they have in the past. And 23% said they’ve never owned a vehicle. Of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34, just 58% currently own vehicles. Ford, Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet, Dodge, Chrysler and Hyundai were the most popular brands mentioned by car owners.

In general, 86% of respondents agreed that having a vehicle is convenient. 78% think that having a vehicle is necessary. 36% think having a vehicle is more of a burden. And 20% consider it to be an unnecessary expense. Of respondents under 35, 78% think that having a vehicle is convenient. 68% think it’s necessary. 40% think it’s a burden. And 23% think it’s an unnecessary expense.

Future Drivers

Looking forward, 54% of respondents said that they are at least somewhat likely to purchase a vehicle at some point in the future. And 83% of those potential car buyers said they are at least somewhat likely to make that car purchase in the next five years. Respondents under 35 were just as likely to have plans to purchase vehicles at some point in the future, but slightly less likely to plan on making those purchases in the next five years.

Overall, 22% of respondents said that they live in big cities. 43% live in suburbs. And 27% live in rural areas. Respondents under 35 were only slightly more likely to live in bigger cities and slightly less likely to live in suburbs or rural areas.

Millennial Drivers

Aside from driving, 54% of respondents said that they sometimes get around by walking. 31% get rides from friends. 20% use public transportation regularly. 13% ride bikes. 8% take cabs. 7% use services like Uber. And 5% use other modes of transportation like shared family cars or rental cars. And 24% don’t ever use any transportation methods aside from driving their personal vehicles.

Overall, 47% of respondents said they feel that automotive brands do a good job of appealing to consumers in their age group. Just 43% of respondents between 18 and 34 said they feel automotive brands do a good job of appealing to their age group. Those respondents named Ford, Honda, Toyota, Chevy, Nissan and Subaru as brands that appeal to their age group.

Key Takeaways

Young consumers do appear to be less likely to own vehicles, and slightly more likely to see them as unnecessary. However, they are at least open to owning vehicles at some point in the future, if not in the next few years. So since less than half of young consumers feel that automotive brands do a good job of appealing to their age group, it would seem that those brands could benefit from offering financial incentives to younger drivers to offset that feeling some have that owning a vehicle could be a burden or an unnecessary expense. They could also potentially highlight the convenience aspect of owning a vehicle, since young drivers were less likely to see vehicle ownership as convenient for them.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Teen Driver by State Farm under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on September 30-October 2 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.