Why Don't Millennials Care About Cars?

By Sean Kane , Mar 01, 2013 03:09 PM EST

Young people care more about their phones than their cars, according to a new survey from Zipcar.

The study focused on Millennials (18-34-year-olds) and how that age group relates to urban transportation, technology and car ownership, studying 1,015 adults, ages 18 and over, including 980 licensed drivers. The online study also weighted the data by demographic variables to match U.S. Census data.

The research was conducted by KRC Research in December 2012, and found that greater access to “on-demand mobility services” ( like Zipcar) have helped young people to live without a car. These services include car-sharing, ride-sharing and vehicle-sharing.

“We’re living through the most important shift in transportation in generations - the creation of a new mobility society. Soon we’ll live in metropolitan areas that include networks of ubiquitous, mobile-app powered on-demand mobility services,” Scott Griffith, Zipcar chairman and CEO said in a press release.

The study found that 25 percent of Millennials have benefitted from transportation apps, which have allowed them to drive less. This is double that number for those 45 and older, of whom 12 percent claim that benefit. The study also focused on the younger generation’s relationship to cars and technology. Nearly two thirds (65 percent) of Millennials claimed that “losing their phone or computer would have a greater negative impact on their daily routine than losing their car.” Separately, 30 and 35 percent claimed that losing their phone or computer, respectively, would have more impact than if their car was lost. Only 28 percent considered losing their car to be worse.

Convenient technology has also been encouraging Millennials to drive less. Almost three quarters (73 percent) of those surveyed said they’d rather shop online then drive or take public transit to a physical store and 47 percent sometimes spent time with friends online instead of driving to visit in person.

“Mobility has defined new expectations for Millennials,” said Jonathan Yarmis, principal analyst at Yarmis Group, an independent analyst group. “They are used to getting what they want, when they want it and mobility solutions are changing the way they decide how to get from one place to another. Having transportation services on-demand is becoming essential to serve the expectations of this new generation.”

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