Millennials Are Far Less Likely to Own Cars Than the Previous Generation: What’s Driving the Shift?
Improved public transportation is cited as one of the main reasons why more and more millennials are moving away from cars and relying on public transport to get them from point to point. Australia has always been a country where owning a car has been considered a basic necessity. But over the years, slowly but surely, there’s been a shift in the attitude towards cars, at least amongst the millennial generation.
What’s Driving the Change?
Car as A Status Symbol
For the older generation, the car was a status symbol. The more expensive your car, the more successful you were thought to be. But the millennial generation has not adopted that same attitude when it comes to their ride. A big chunk of them are more interested in keeping up with what’s viral on social media than worrying about who has the best car.
Car as A Convenience
Having a car was a convenience. It allowed you to go about your day without having to schedule all your activities around the availability of public transport. But, over the years, as our cities have become more crowded and traffic worsens, millennials argue that owning a car has become more of a hassle than a convenience, what with the lack of parking space and the time wasted in traffic. Millennials prefer to use public transport or just call an uber to get them where they need to go. Not having to drive has another advantage as well – they are free to use their mobiles while on the move, which is another reason that many millennials are ditching driving cars and prefer to be driven instead. Millennials are choosing not to worry about rising fuel costs, scrap car removal cost and the maintenance costs that comes with owning a car.
The Future Is Autonomous
Not surprisingly, the number of people applying for driver’s license is also steadily declining every year. While some say that this is a result of the graduated licensing schemes making it harder for young drivers to get a full license, it can’t be refuted that another big factor is the disinterest that millennials have shown when it comes to driving cars. Another argument that a lot of millennials put forth is that autonomous cars are on the verge of becoming mainstream. And when that happens, they will be selling the car for cash and buying a self-driving car anyway, so why bother learning to drive in the first place?
Owning a car was a right of passage. It was seen as your step into adulthood. Your first car, no matter how beaten up or ratty, was your pride and joy simply because it was yours. A car gave you a sense of freedom and independence. No longer did you have to rely on your parents or your older siblings to drive you around. But in this day and age, the convenience of apps like Uber and the easy accessibility and availability of public transportation has overridden the millennials need for a car. Now, owning and maintaining a car is seen as an unnecessary expense by the younger generation.