Generation Y is passing on cars compared to previous generations. There are a number of influencing factors ranging from financial reasons to lifestyle reasons. There are three main reasons why purchasing an automobile may be placed on the backburner for the echo boomers:
- Generation Y finds cars expensive. With the recession delaying the careers of many millennials, student and credit card debt up to their ears, and a rising cost of living across the country (gas prices – yikes), Generation Y may be reluctant to jump into a purchase that will add a couple hundred dollar monthly payments to their budget. While some people see Generation Y as being financially irresponsible, it is quite the opposite. Generation Y is making lifestyle choices to situate their financial situation.
- Generation Y wants a more free lifestyle. Why spend two hours in gridlock everyday? Why buy an overpriced home and be locked into a 30 year contract when you can rent an apartment close to work, walk or take public transportation to work, and pack up and move on with your life in a year? Generation Y is opting for a more liberating lifestyle where they can be flexible with their time. They want to live in areas with good public transportation, close to all their amenities, close to work, and have the freedom to move if they change employers (which they do – often).
- Generation Y wants to help the environment. Cars are big polluters. Echo Boomers are more likely to take public transportation, car pool, or live in a walkable distance to work than they are buying a hybrid. While this isn’t the main deciding factor on buying a car or not, it is a low-priority, lingering concern that may be used to justify their lifestyle decisions.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean Generation Y doesn’t want cars – it simply means that they are capable of adjusting their life due to the circumstances. If traffic improves, if prices come down, if the disposable income of Generation Y goes up, expect to see some more cars on the road. Until then, automobile makers take note – this new generation is not afraid to defy the status quo for a more efficient lifestyle.
Read a similar article here at Kiplinger.