Millennials ‘highly value having their own car’ despite industry fears to the contrary

Car industry fears about millennials increasingly shunning car buying are overstated, according to new research.

A report by consultancy firm Duff and Phelps found that 75 per cent of millennials intend to buy or lease a car in the next five years.

The car industry is increasingly discussing the future of mobility as a whole, looking at creating autonomous and ride-sharing vehicles, amid fears that young people have no interest in traditional car ownership.

This is usually attributed to the increasing percentage of the population living in busy cities, access to ride sharing and public transport, and environmental concerns.

However, in the survey of 2,150 of millennials – commonly referred to as those born in the early 1980s to mid 1990s – three-quarters said they currently own or lease a car, while 83 per cent of that group said they intend to do so in the next five years.

Meanwhile, 55 per cent of respondents who do not currently own a car said they intend to have one in the next five years. Duff and Phelps say that extrapolating this for all millennials would indicate a large uptick in car sales in the coming years.

Surprisingly, even those that live in the city are keen to drive, with 80 per cent of city dwellers indicating they plan to buy or lease a car in the next five years.

Furthermore, 85 per cent of respondents said that having a car was “a necessity for independence and convenience, and generally preferable to other, more environmentally conscious options like ride-sharing or public transportation”.

Mark Kwilosz, head of the North American Automotive industry practice at Duff and Phelps, said: “Our Millennials and Auto Trends Report challenges conventional wisdom that millennials prefer alternatives to car ownership and provides encouraging evidence that millennials will drive the automotive industry forward.

“However, it is in the hands of automakers to take notice of what millennials are looking for in their vehicles and to continue making the right technological investments to satisfy millennial preferences.”

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