by Jon LeSage
Millennials are putting off getting their drivers licenses and buying cars longer than previous generations, but what does the future look like?
First-time buyers are tending to be around 25 years old, when that used to happen at 18-to-19.
They do have a lot more college debt than in the past, and tend to cost-conscious graduates in their mid-20s.
For many of them living in cities, car- and ridesharing services are filling some of the transportation void.
They can use mobile applications on their smartphones and tablets to contact Zipcar, Car2Go, or other carsharing providers – and Uber and others ridesharing companies.
This has been getting a lot of attention and enthusiasm lately. Uber has been valued at $17 billion by investors – and has been in a battle with taxi drivers around the country as they enter markets without having to acquire taxi licenses.
Automakers are entering these markets with their own affiliate divisions (such as Daimler’s Car2Go and BMW’s DriveNow) and see it part of the changing role they’ll be playing in the near future.
Auto analysts tend to think that car- and ridesharing, and millennials buying cars later, don’t pose a serious threat to the automotive market. The market trend is mostly urban; millennials still buy cars but that’s taking longer. They might work a few years and start a family before making that acquisition.
The usage of car- and ridesharing services reassert what’s of importance – and how to reach – millennials:
- The latest in mobile apps for phones and tablets
- Convenience and time savings
- Cost conscious decisions structured around their lifestyles
Jon LeSage, automotive editor, green initiatives at Automotive Digest, also serves as editor and publisher of Green Auto Market.