Millennials Like Carsharing but Eventually Need to Have their Own Cars

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.



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