Millennials get a bad rep, for the right and wrong reasons. If you can put aside your warranted (or unwarranted) disdain for what appears to be the most controversial generation in the history of mankind, and take a look at this new study, you’ll notice millennials are actually doing car shopping the right way. Not only are they buying used (which is a way smarter choice than dumping money into a new car), but they are buying used for the right reason. What’s that reason, you ask? Practicality. My fellow millennials — whom even I get annoyed with sometimes — seem to agree in that regard.
According to Crowdtap, a website which conducted a study on millennials and their driving behavior and vehicle purchasing (along with exploring the preferences between millennials in both suburban and urban areas), discovered some interesting information.
Millennials living in big cities rely on cars for quicker travel (47.4%), quick trips to the store (43%) and trips outside the city (47%). From what I’ve gathered, that means nearly half of all millennials living in cities are using their vehicles for everyday life. For those living in the suburbs however, 67% of millennials use their vehicles for a combination of running errands, commuting, and weekend travel. Over a quarter of millennials (26.7%) use their cars for running errands, and only 15.3% use their cars to commute. 15% were discovered to mainly use their cars for traveling on the weekends.
What does all this mean? Well, it means that practicality is (just like Crowdtap said) the driving catalyst for their driving decisions and behaving. Whether they are renting or buying, practicality takes precedence over luxury in short or long-term buys. They also discovered that cost, space, and environmental efficiency are what matter most for traits in a car.
A Necessity, Not a Luxury
But, let’s step back and look at the bigger picture here: millennials, the group that is both trash-talked and praised, are doing car-buying right. There’s clearly evidence to prove that, thanks to this study.
Therefore, when it comes to car-buying, be more like a millennial. Buy used, and seek practicality above all else. If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, sure – splurge on that new Aston Martin. Or, buy a practical used beater that will last you a couple of years and invest the money you would have spent on the car, along with interest rates on the monthly payments, into a new wing for your mansion? Just a thought…
Why? Because, at the end of the day, a car is just a tool. It’s meant to get us from point A to point B safely, reliably, and effectively. Are the fancy new comfort and entertainment features nice? Yes, but when automakers start throwing in massaging seats and built-in fridges (thanks, Volvo), what does that say about us as consumers? We’ve lost sight of the bigger picture, and what really matters. Take a page out of the millennial’s handbook and put practicality at the top of your priority list when you next shop for a new, or better yet, new-to-you vehicle.