At last, sweet vindication. For years I've been fighting against the myth parroted by terrified industry types and lazy Boomer assholes that young people don't buy cars, don't want cars, and only ride buses and their super-cool Razor scooters. Young people DO want cars! How do I know? Because of a new study by the hip television network MTV.
Today MTV unveiled the results of its 2014 study "Millennials Have Drive" (barf) at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo, an event that is every bit as horrible as it sounds. But despite the cringe-worthy nature of everything at play here, the study did have some very interesting results.
MTV says they surveyed 3,610 Millennials between the ages of 18 and 34, as well as 400 Gen X-ers and 403 Baby Boomers. The study revealed younger people are far more interested in and invested in car ownership and car buying than has been previously believed by just about everyone.
The study says eight in 10 Millennials get around most often by car as opposed to any other form of transportation, in contrast to other studies that have blamed young folks for America's drop in driving. Over the past few years miles driven per month for Millennials have risen 72 percent compared to Boomers and 18 percent to the X-ers. Also, 73 percent of young people surveyed agreed that "it's important their car reflect who they are."
(There's also a lot of marketing jargon in the study. For a much angrier take on that, sit down and let Old Man Blake Z. Rong rap at you for a bit.)
A full 72 percent said they would rather give up texting for a week than their car, which is a nice fuck you to everyone who said cell phones are the new cars. I totally get that, mainly because I'm married and pushing 30 and most of my texting consists of me and my wife reminding each other to pick up toilet paper at the store later. I'd take a car over that. Wouldn't you?
Millennials' passion for driving versus other generations is underscored with 70 percent saying they "like driving a lot" versus 58 percent of Boomers and 66 percent of Gen Xers. Moreover, young people are exhibiting a broadening desire to buy and own cars:
- 82 percent of Millennials find buying/leasing a new car exciting
- 3 in 4 young people feel like they couldn't live without their current car
- 85 percent of Millennials are looking forward to one day owning the car they've always wanted versus 59 percent of Boomers and 72 percent of Gen Xers
- 73 percent of young people love learning about new car models and functions versus 69 percent of Boomers and 54 percent of Gen Xers
Okay, the study and its source are a goofy as hell — I have to be reminded every so often whether or not MTV is still a thing, although I don't have a clue what they actually broadcast these days — but there may be some truth to this. Here's why.
First, Millennials are getting older. Many of them are moving into their mid-30s at this point. Out of college, they're more likely to have cars, and while there's been an urban shift in this generation, that doesn't mean everyone is going to live in the city. Some of them may even be starting families and need larger vehicles for the first time ever. Conversely, their parents are getting older and driving less.
There's also the fact that the economy is improving. Our unemployment level is finally lower than what it was before the shit hit the fan in 2008, and that means more people are working, earning money and buying cars. And as Millennials age, ideally they're making more money and have more money to spend on cars. Cheap gas has probably helped things too.
It also makes sense when you consider the massive jump in car sales in 2014; not all of those cars were bought by Baby Boomers.
It's wrong to take one study as gospel, but there's probably a lot of truth here. As things get better all around, and as Millennials get older and advance in the world they'll fill the car-buying role that generations before them had.