Author Topic: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?  (Read 12944 times)

nereo

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less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« on: October 15, 2014, 08:39:32 AM »
Came across this article about suggesting that millennials may actually value car ownership, driving and having a license far less than previous generations.

Quote
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/14/the-many-reasons-millennials-are-shunning-cars/

interesting read, with lots of links to various arguments that have been made to explain the recent lack of driving (unemployment, fuel prices, the desire to own a smartphone & laptop over a car, etc.)

Personally, I know quite a few people in their 20s and 30s who have never owned a car (several of whom don't even have a license)- which baffles my parents, aunts and uncles.  This is doubtlessly skewed because I most readily associate with other bike-riding, MMM types, but still...

any thoughts?

Ynari

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2014, 08:56:42 AM »
I never wanted a car, and a good chunk of my friends in high school didn't, either. We only drove when we "had" to.

I just wanted to stay home and live on the internet.

Hi, Internet.

nereo

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2014, 09:00:05 AM »
I never wanted a car, and a good chunk of my friends in high school didn't, either. We only drove when we "had" to.

I just wanted to stay home and live on the internet.

Hi, Internet.
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ThriftyD

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2014, 09:03:45 AM »
My brother is 30 and has never owned a car and he does just fine getting around with his feet, his bike, or public transit.  My mom, a baby boomer, occasionally nags him saying, "when are you going to get a car?"  "What if you need it for work?"  "It's safer than riding a bike." "I don't want to hear about you taking the city bus at night!  There are scary people on the bus at that time!" etc.  All the worry wart stuff that a lot of the older generations obsess about because they watch too much cable or local news.


Elderwood17

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2014, 09:59:45 AM »
I think the trend is both real and very positive.  The millenials in particular seem to have rejected the "work in the city live in the suburb" trap and embracing public transport. 

Zikoris

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2014, 10:10:42 AM »
Neither me nor my boyfriend has a license, car, or desire for either. We get a lot of flack from his status-oriented extended family, but they seem to be gradually coming to terms with it.

We just plan our lives to not need any of that. Choose to live close to work and necessities, in a city that has decent transit and caters somewhat to cyclists. Boom, done, you never need a car.

WGH

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2014, 01:32:20 PM »
The cost I think is what's driving the problem.  Average car prices I believe are outpacing inflation, insurance, maintenance, the entire concept of gap coverage just goes to show how overpriced a car is.

Then of course you've got gas. When I first started driving and gas was a $1 a gallon you'd stop at a gas station just to fill up even if you were half a tank or so. Gas was an after thought not a budgeted expenditure. Now it's a major expense for many people and a reason to change jobs, move closer to work, etc.

Couple this with average wages declining over the last what 10-20 years and new grads not being able to find work commiserate with their education and all those student loans and what do you get?

Boomerang kids who see a car as something they can't afford.

Northerly

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2014, 01:48:41 PM »
It seems to me that we are just returning to a more sustainable situation. Cars, bought early and often, were the norm in my rural family starting in the '70s up through the early 2000s. But this mostly began in my father's generation and bled into mine. My great-grandparents and grandparents owned one car at a time, my wife and i own one car, and anecdotally, the "car culture" or "car as a means of self-expression" concept seems to be dying. Slowly. Progress!

On a related note, also anecdotal, it seems that those currently in their 20s and 30s are much more aware of wealth building concepts than the post-war generation. In my own family, wealth was increasing and frugality was highly valued right up into the '50s, when a culture shift and access to debt and toys started to dissipate the wealth of generations.

Beric01

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2014, 02:20:58 PM »
This is definitely a trend.

I got my license at age 20 (had no need for it earlier, as I biked everywhere). I drove to work for 2 years upon graduation, decided the car was too expensive, and just sold it recently. Now I'm carfree again!

IMO a car is a prison. My bike is the ticket to freedom!

bacchi

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2014, 02:25:17 PM »
I hope it's a persistent trend and not just until Gen Y starts making more money.

aschmidt2930

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2014, 03:30:20 PM »
If you live within biking distance of work, within walking distance of public transportation, and if possible within walking distance of a car rental place, you're set.  On the off chance you actually need a car (Less than most people think) you can simply rent one for the day.  Additionally many quality credit cards will cover all supplemental insurance if you place the rental on the card, which is a big plus. 

I'm moving from the Midwest to Dallas next weekend, I'm planning on selling my car when I get settled in.  In non-winter months (Yeah, I'm a wuss with snow and biking) I've used my car 2-3 times per month tops over the last year.  That kind of usage is simply not worth the insurance and expenses that come along with owning a car.  I absolutely think this is a trend that will only continue and intensify. 

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2014, 07:55:55 PM »
I have plenty of 30-something friends who don't have cars.  Then again, I live in the middle of a walkable city with great public transportation and great bike infrastructure.  So my view is not the norm.

I think the real cause was the great recession.  You had an entire generation of kids who went to college, graduated college, and got shitty jobs right out of college... in the middle of economic disaster.

Many of them are only now getting on their feet.  And boy are they behind their age benchmarks from previous generations.  Home ownership, marriage, children... all of these milestones were set back by the economy.  I'd hazard a guess that car ownership is also on this list.  Especially new car ownership.  Those things are dastardly expensive, especially if you have a giant student loan payment every month.

gimp

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2014, 08:40:48 PM »
Quote
I think the real cause was the great recession.

Ding ding. Everyone loves to live in the city and not have a car... until they have kids. Then they go into the 'burbs, where it's boring, where their kids grow up and decide "I can't wait to live in the city without a car."

Beric01

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2014, 09:23:41 PM »
Quote
I think the real cause was the great recession.

Ding ding. Everyone loves to live in the city and not have a car... until they have kids. Then they go into the 'burbs, where it's boring, where their kids grow up and decide "I can't wait to live in the city without a car."

Then why not live in the city with kids without a car? Kids can take the train/bus, bike and/or walk. I don't see why having a car is a strict requirement if you have kids. We all know that driving is actually one of the most dangerous forms of transportation.

gimp

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2014, 09:54:27 PM »
No reason not to, except people tend to prefer quiet suburbs where it's quiet and safe (or so goes the perception, whether this is true is up for infinite debate.) And people start to want a place of their own, for their kids to have a back yard, blah blah. Most people do it.

Zikoris

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2014, 09:56:27 PM »
Quote
I think the real cause was the great recession.

Ding ding. Everyone loves to live in the city and not have a car... until they have kids. Then they go into the 'burbs, where it's boring, where their kids grow up and decide "I can't wait to live in the city without a car."

Then why not live in the city with kids without a car? Kids can take the train/bus, bike and/or walk. I don't see why having a car is a strict requirement if you have kids. We all know that driving is actually one of the most dangerous forms of transportation.

This is the latest trend in Vancouver! There are enough kids downtown now that they're actually building a new elementary school. I believe the city has also been forcing developers to make condos more family friendly.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2014, 12:46:44 AM »
I don't think it's as reflected in my age group. Most I know my age do have cars.

What's more, most people in my age group who do buy places tend to buy in the outer suburbs anyway. Housing in the city/inner suburbs is far more expensive.

agent_clone

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2014, 01:17:56 AM »
Actually there is some indication that it is a general trend: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/executive-living/driving-me-crazy-getting-a-licence-a-low-priority-for-generation-y/story-e6frg9zo-1226703726264?nk=152f2ce1cf9eb70dfa673fa19f4c7980

Australia hasn't had the recession that the US has so that is not an explanation.

Personally I got my P plates at age 18, but I didn't buy a car until age 28 (Now 30).  Also, having a car is not the same as driving it to the same extent as previous generations.

deborah

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2014, 02:19:03 AM »
Well, I got my license at 33, and a car shortly after, so it's not an entirely new trend!

DFJD

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2014, 05:52:32 AM »
It's a great trend.  I bet it is tied to the Great Recession, but I also think preferences are changing.  I know a bunch of millennials who ARE making money by living (and playing) in big cities.  They mostly don't own cars.  Who on earth wants a car in New York City?  As far as I can tell, they spend their "car" income on eating out at great restaurants and drinking at great bars.

CatchingFire

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2014, 06:42:15 AM »
My 16 yo has no desire whatsoever. She's tried driving and hates it. We live in a good biking city, have bikes, and have lots of public transport and a great local university she plans to attend. She has no desire to own a "money pit" car (her words).  It's a trend I'm loving right now. :)

Pooperman

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2014, 06:49:39 AM »
It's a great trend.  I bet it is tied to the Great Recession, but I also think preferences are changing.  I know a bunch of millennials who ARE making money by living (and playing) in big cities.  They mostly don't own cars.  Who on earth wants a car in New York City?  As far as I can tell, they spend their "car" income on eating out at great restaurants and drinking at great bars.

I am 24, and have 1 car between SO and me (a gift). It's pushing 10 years and feels 'new' to me still. I live in the 'burbs of NYC so the car is more for going places in the 'burbs (family, vacations, supermarket). The place is pretty bike-unfriendly in general. However, the 'burbs of NYC have one great thing: public transportation to and from NYC (where I work). Living in NYC is too expensive even when combining transport + rent into one number (about $1250/mo in my case vs something more like $1600/mo). Plus, I like having the extra room and not paying the NYC income tax :).

I got my license at 17 in order to drive to community college during my senior year of HS. Keeping a car as long as it lives is something I saw a lot growing up: grandparents had a 25 y/o Volvo at one point (other family members did the same thing). I intend to keep this car until I am FI (it should last that long at the rate I drive it). The only thing that sucks is insurance is minimum $100/mo because of my age despite squeaky clean driving record over the last 7 years.

GuitarStv

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2014, 06:50:31 AM »
It's very useful to have a drivers license.  Not having one is nothing to be proud of.  While I've been lucky enough to avoid owning a car thus far in life (huge money pit), I kinda cheated . . . by marrying a woman with a car.

Gin1984

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2014, 06:56:27 AM »
Quote
I think the real cause was the great recession.

Ding ding. Everyone loves to live in the city and not have a car... until they have kids. Then they go into the 'burbs, where it's boring, where their kids grow up and decide "I can't wait to live in the city without a car."

Then why not live in the city with kids without a car? Kids can take the train/bus, bike and/or walk. I don't see why having a car is a strict requirement if you have kids. We all know that driving is actually one of the most dangerous forms of transportation.
For me, my husband and I had one car, and I'd often get around my bus.  However, after having a child, two things changed.  One, I had to pick her up at a certain time and two, after dark I did not feel safe taking her on the bus.  With all the crap I had to carry for her and her, I can't move quickly and I'm only 5'2. And my city is similar in crime stats to Oakland, so you might understand that.  Add that to the weather here, and that infants under the age of one have issues regulating their body temp, and we now have a second car.  Once we leave here, I have no doubt we will move down to one car.

acroy

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2014, 06:59:49 AM »

AgileTurtle

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2014, 07:19:21 AM »
I am new to this thought process but I dont see that much of an upside to not having a car unless you live in a big city. Living in Michigan it would be very difficult to do things without a car. How do you go camping, fishing, adventure?

smalllife

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2014, 07:22:48 AM »
Once one of our cars die, we'll be a 1.5 car household (car + scooter).  One car for commuting, trips, and joint travel outside of biking range.  The scooter would get me to work on rainy days/client visits, and to my rec league which I don't feel safe biking to after dark when my legs are already exhausted.  Not having kids, but I am getting a doggy trailer to go to the dog park (3 mi) because I hate driving it and the dog can't do both.

merula

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2014, 08:06:44 AM »
It's very useful to have a drivers license.  Not having one is nothing to be proud of.  While I've been lucky enough to avoid owning a car thus far in life (huge money pit), I kinda cheated . . . by marrying a woman with a car.

Completely agree! I know plenty of my peers who don't have cars, but the ones who don't have licenses are generally the ones to mooch rides. The ones with licenses seem to be better about taking the initiative to get where they need to regardless of mode of transportation.

Every study I've seen on the subject has pointed to the same trend. The funny thing is, what I generally hear from Boomers and older is that it's *JUST* the recession and once the economy recovers, Millenials will catch up with car-buying, because that's just what adults do. I suppose that's possible, but I don't see it happening.

But that's a trend that extends far beyond cars. http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3474#comic

golden1

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2014, 08:34:11 AM »
This just seems like common sense.  Younger people are usually single, and therefore live more flexible lifestyles.   They can more easily work close to their jobs than a married family with two careers.   Also, with a smartphone, it is very easy to get a car when you really need one using a service like Uber.  Younger people are more likely to live in cities where the benefits of having a car don't outweigh the costs. 

In a generation or so, with the advent of self driving cars, I can foresee not owning a car at all or maybe just having a very small gas efficient car for daily commuting if necessary.   If I need a larger vehicle for a special family trip, I would press a button on my phone, and a larger car would arrive at my door by itself.   It drives me crazy that people feel that they need to own the largest vehicle that they possibly will ever need, even if they only use it to capacity less than 5% of the time. 

austin

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2014, 09:31:51 AM »
I know plenty of people without cars, but nearly all of them have licences. There is no reaosn not to (except maybe thee ~$15 annualized fee), and plenty of reasons to have one. The few I know without licenses have generally have other things going wrong with them and not only mooch rides but other stuff as well. This has led me to be skeptical of any adult who doesn't have a license.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 09:33:31 AM by austin »

Zikoris

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #30 on: October 16, 2014, 10:04:17 AM »
I know plenty of people without cars, but nearly all of them have licences. There is no reaosn not to (except maybe thee ~$15 annualized fee), and plenty of reasons to have one. The few I know without licenses have generally have other things going wrong with them and not only mooch rides but other stuff as well. This has led me to be skeptical of any adult who doesn't have a license.

I don't see any reason to get a licence, given that I never want to drive. Same for my boyfriend. We live in a major city with bike lanes and public transit, and have multiple other forms of photo ID. It's caused us no difficulties so far in life.

AgileTurtle

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #31 on: October 16, 2014, 10:39:05 AM »
I know plenty of people without cars, but nearly all of them have licences. There is no reaosn not to (except maybe thee ~$15 annualized fee), and plenty of reasons to have one. The few I know without licenses have generally have other things going wrong with them and not only mooch rides but other stuff as well. This has led me to be skeptical of any adult who doesn't have a license.

I don't see any reason to get a licence, given that I never want to drive. Same for my boyfriend. We live in a major city with bike lanes and public transit, and have multiple other forms of photo ID. It's caused us no difficulties so far in life.

You live in BC surrounded by fantastic mountains and woods. How do you get there?

RetiredAt63

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2014, 10:39:34 AM »
Most of my DD's friends were taking their learner's permit exam days after the relevant birthday.  That is country living, the kids want to be able to drive and the parents are happy, less chauffeuring.

A driver's license may not be necessary in one's personal life but may be necessary for work.  I know that students doing field work often need to drive a truck, students TA-ing field courses need to be able to drive an SUV because they have it full of students and gear.  Former students of mine are off in the field every day, they need to be able to drive. 

A colleague's daughter was told at a work internship  to rent a car, pick up some VIPs at the airport, and take them to their hotel.  She would be driving them around to various business activities for the rest of that week.  How she did this ended up being a test (not the only one) of whether they wanted to hire her after the internship was over.

At my last interview I was asked if I had an F-class license (i.e. standard vans, small trucks).  I don't (most people don't except those who drive for a living) and I got the job anyway, but it would have been a plus.  Given the amount of driving for field courses I then did for the job, I would not have gotten it if I had no license.

So I tend to view having a driver's license, and a good driving record, as another qualification for employment.  Doesn't mean you have to own a car, but in North American society the expectation is usually there that you can if you need to.

Bateaux

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #33 on: October 16, 2014, 10:53:26 AM »
I'm ready to move to my favorite town if I retire land based and ride my bike every where I go.  It has a rail trail that connects to two other wonder cities that I like.  It's Mandeville, Louisiana on the shore of Lake Ponchartrain just across the lake from New Orleans. 

Sid Hoffman

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #34 on: October 16, 2014, 10:55:23 AM »
I don't see any reason to get a licence, given that I never want to drive. Same for my boyfriend. We live in a major city with bike lanes and public transit, and have multiple other forms of photo ID. It's caused us no difficulties so far in life.

I had a friend that only owned a car for maybe 2 years from age 18 to 28.  I'm not sure what happened after that, but she lived in Chicago near the "L" so if she stayed there, there's a good chance she still doesn't own one.  However she always maintained a driver's license because it gives you options.  For example I know she had mentioned using ZipCar rentals.  She also borrowed her mom's car every so often when visiting her mother.  Given that it costs almost nothing to get a driver's license and opens up a lot of possibilities, I'd think that at least one member of a couple or family unit would be well served to have one.  Again, it's all about giving yourself options.

Zikoris

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #35 on: October 16, 2014, 11:41:21 AM »
Quote
You live in BC surrounded by fantastic mountains and woods. How do you get there?

I actually hike a lot! Vancouver has transit access to a tremendous amount of trails and parks, and the local hiking groups all carpool anyways if you want to go further (you obviously contribute for gas).

As for work, I do clerical office work. In my line of work you're never expected to drive anywhere, fortunately! I don't remember ever being asked about having a licence in a job interview, though I wouldn't apply for anything requiring driving to begin with.

It's also a pretty big PITA getting a licence in BC to begin with - just seems pointless jumping through all those hoops given that I hate cars and driving and would never actually use it.

AgileTurtle

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #36 on: October 16, 2014, 12:29:38 PM »
Quote
You live in BC surrounded by fantastic mountains and woods. How do you get there?

I actually hike a lot! Vancouver has transit access to a tremendous amount of trails and parks, and the local hiking groups all carpool anyways if you want to go further (you obviously contribute for gas).

As for work, I do clerical office work. In my line of work you're never expected to drive anywhere, fortunately! I don't remember ever being asked about having a licence in a job interview, though I wouldn't apply for anything requiring driving to begin with.

It's also a pretty big PITA getting a licence in BC to begin with - just seems pointless jumping through all those hoops given that I hate cars and driving and would never actually use it.

So basically Vancouver is the greatest place on earth LOL. It is nothing like that where I live.

Zikoris

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #37 on: October 16, 2014, 12:53:32 PM »
Quote
You live in BC surrounded by fantastic mountains and woods. How do you get there?

I actually hike a lot! Vancouver has transit access to a tremendous amount of trails and parks, and the local hiking groups all carpool anyways if you want to go further (you obviously contribute for gas).

As for work, I do clerical office work. In my line of work you're never expected to drive anywhere, fortunately! I don't remember ever being asked about having a licence in a job interview, though I wouldn't apply for anything requiring driving to begin with.

It's also a pretty big PITA getting a licence in BC to begin with - just seems pointless jumping through all those hoops given that I hate cars and driving and would never actually use it.

So basically Vancouver is the greatest place on earth LOL. It is nothing like that where I live.

Vancouver rocks! That's why I decided to move here ten years ago.

Jon_Snow

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #38 on: October 16, 2014, 03:17:53 PM »
I guess I can be excused for loving my car (actually a pick up) because I'm a Gen X'er? :)

My wife and I love nothing better than putting our kayaks on top of the truck, bikes on the trailer hitch mounted rack, with some camping gear and driving all over B.C. (mostly the coast) -  despite the nobility of the car-free concept it just would limit what we love to do.

We are actually planning to take 2 months and drive down to our place in the Baja. Kayaking and camping and exploring as we go. Having a vehicle really doesn't cost us very much considering the possibilities it creates to see more of the world in the manner in which we like to experience it. We are more like to enjoy the wild, little seen places, than crowded tourist areas. Transit doesn't go to the places we enjoy, by and large.

BuildingFrugalHabits

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2014, 09:22:04 AM »
I am new to this thought process but I dont see that much of an upside to not having a car unless you live in a big city. Living in Michigan it would be very difficult to do things without a car. How do you go camping, fishing, adventure?

We are a two car - two adult household.  My car sits in the garage 99% of the time until I need it to go someplace further than 10-15 or carry lots of stuff etc.  Mainly, I end up using it to go to the airport or on longer weekend trips. I think that car sharing could (and should) definitely become more commonplace in the future.  So much more efficient to pay for your occasional use vs. constantly paying and/or tying up a chunk of cash in something that just sits and depreciates most of the time.  I would consider downsizing if car sharing became available in my immediate area. 

BuildingFrugalHabits

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2014, 09:41:20 AM »
This just seems like common sense.  Younger people are usually single, and therefore live more flexible lifestyles.   They can more easily work close to their jobs than a married family with two careers.   Also, with a smartphone, it is very easy to get a car when you really need one using a service like Uber.  Younger people are more likely to live in cities where the benefits of having a car don't outweigh the costs. 

In a generation or so, with the advent of self driving cars, I can foresee not owning a car at all or maybe just having a very small gas efficient car for daily commuting if necessary.   If I need a larger vehicle for a special family trip, I would press a button on my phone, and a larger car would arrive at my door by itself.   It drives me crazy that people feel that they need to own the largest vehicle that they possibly will ever need, even if they only use it to capacity less than 5% of the time.

+1

Our current setup is extremely inefficient. I think what you've described is the future of transportation!

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #41 on: October 18, 2014, 11:38:18 AM »
I am new to this thought process but I dont see that much of an upside to not having a car unless you live in a big city. Living in Michigan it would be very difficult to do things without a car. How do you go camping, fishing, adventure?

We are a two car - two adult household.  My car sits in the garage 99% of the time until I need it to go someplace further than 10-15 or carry lots of stuff etc.  Mainly, I end up using it to go to the airport or on longer weekend trips. I think that car sharing could (and should) definitely become more commonplace in the future.  So much more efficient to pay for your occasional use vs. constantly paying and/or tying up a chunk of cash in something that just sits and depreciates most of the time.  I would consider downsizing if car sharing became available in my immediate area.
I looked at what it would costs to rent a car, via enterprise, and took the costs of our second car and divided it.  Even discounting gas, we would need to rent a car 33 days to equal owning the car.  Since we used the car less than 33 days/year, we sold our second car.  Maybe do that math?

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #42 on: October 18, 2014, 11:44:38 AM »
I think this is just a cyclical trend which will eventually be replaced by car ownership again.  I say this because as more and more Millennials stay in cities so they won't have to buy a car they will see increasing rent costs which will eventually force them to move away from the cities back into the suburbs.  Unless they are incredibly wealthy, of course.

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #43 on: October 18, 2014, 12:35:33 PM »
I think this is just a cyclical trend which will eventually be replaced by car ownership again.  I say this because as more and more Millennials stay in cities so they won't have to buy a car they will see increasing rent costs which will eventually force them to move away from the cities back into the suburbs.  Unless they are incredibly wealthy, of course.

This assumes a lot of things:
  • That cities won't grow (both vertically and horizontally) - prices will only rise if supply can't meet demand.
  • That people won't move to up-and-coming cities
  • That people can't already get around suburbs without a car (I can on my bike just fine)
  • That Millennials (who are in their prime years of earnings increases) won't bee able to increase their income to keep up with housing costs

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #44 on: October 18, 2014, 01:20:22 PM »
I think this is just a cyclical trend which will eventually be replaced by car ownership again.  I say this because as more and more Millennials stay in cities so they won't have to buy a car they will see increasing rent costs which will eventually force them to move away from the cities back into the suburbs.  Unless they are incredibly wealthy, of course.

This assumes a lot of things:
  • That cities won't grow (both vertically and horizontally) - prices will only rise if supply can't meet demand.
  • That people won't move to up-and-coming cities
  • That people can't already get around suburbs without a car (I can on my bike just fine)
  • That Millennials (who are in their prime years of earnings increases) won't bee able to increase their income to keep up with housing costs

I live near New York City.  I already know how this story ends.  (As do people who live near San Francisco, Portland, Austin, etc.)

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2014, 05:17:16 PM »
I am new to this thought process but I dont see that much of an upside to not having a car unless you live in a big city. Living in Michigan it would be very difficult to do things without a car. How do you go camping, fishing, adventure?

We are a two car - two adult household.  My car sits in the garage 99% of the time until I need it to go someplace further than 10-15 or carry lots of stuff etc.  Mainly, I end up using it to go to the airport or on longer weekend trips. I think that car sharing could (and should) definitely become more commonplace in the future.  So much more efficient to pay for your occasional use vs. constantly paying and/or tying up a chunk of cash in something that just sits and depreciates most of the time.  I would consider downsizing if car sharing became available in my immediate area.
I looked at what it would costs to rent a car, via enterprise, and took the costs of our second car and divided it.  Even discounting gas, we would need to rent a car 33 days to equal owning the car.  Since we used the car less than 33 days/year, we sold our second car.  Maybe do that math?

Yup, I threw together a basic spreadsheet to figure it out and I'm thinking that even for weekly use, your breaking even with purchasing a 10 year old vehicle if you factor in Taxes, Registration, Maintenance, Insurance, Depreciation and Opportunity costs.  The biggest drawback is that it's a pain in the a$$ to go rent a car every time you need one.  The closest rental is a 5 mile bike ride from the house and usually I need the car because I'm carrying enough stuff to warrant it.  The other issue is that while I'm only physically driving the car about once a week for less than an hour at a time, I need it available for more than that i.e. multi-day camping trips, trailhead or airport parking lot. 

These problems are logistically solvable with technology.  That's why I'm so intrigued by the possible proliferation of car sharing services not just in major cities but suburbs as well.  I love the idea of being able to walk out my front door, walk maybe a few blocks to an available car swipe my phone and head on out.  Then if I'm going to the airport, I park it somewhere for free and it becomes available for the next guy who just landed and needs a car.  Every car could be linked up with GPS and software could track all the vehicle locations, anticipate demand and incentive pricing to make sure that cars end up where they need to be.  In the future, cars could become automated but we have the current technology to make this work right now. 

Benefits include freeing up tons of parking since there are so many fewer cars just sitting around doing nothing.
Use your garage space for a workshop or workout area.
Sharing of resources is more environmentally friendly.  Free up capital for more productive uses.
Faster fleet turnover due to increased utilization rates.  This would lead to much faster adoption of new technology.
No need to buy a car for the worst case scenario i.e. transporting 7 passengers in the snow while towing a trailer once a year (again more efficient).
No need to perform vehicle maintenance or car washing etc
Greater flexibility to combine with biking when necessary

This type of approach would combine the best worlds of biking and public transportation with the freedom and flexibility of personal vehicle ownership.

Thoughts?

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #46 on: October 18, 2014, 05:54:25 PM »
I am new to this thought process but I dont see that much of an upside to not having a car unless you live in a big city. Living in Michigan it would be very difficult to do things without a car. How do you go camping, fishing, adventure?

We are a two car - two adult household.  My car sits in the garage 99% of the time until I need it to go someplace further than 10-15 or carry lots of stuff etc.  Mainly, I end up using it to go to the airport or on longer weekend trips. I think that car sharing could (and should) definitely become more commonplace in the future.  So much more efficient to pay for your occasional use vs. constantly paying and/or tying up a chunk of cash in something that just sits and depreciates most of the time.  I would consider downsizing if car sharing became available in my immediate area.
I looked at what it would costs to rent a car, via enterprise, and took the costs of our second car and divided it.  Even discounting gas, we would need to rent a car 33 days to equal owning the car.  Since we used the car less than 33 days/year, we sold our second car.  Maybe do that math?

Yup, I threw together a basic spreadsheet to figure it out and I'm thinking that even for weekly use, your breaking even with purchasing a 10 year old vehicle if you factor in Taxes, Registration, Maintenance, Insurance, Depreciation and Opportunity costs.  The biggest drawback is that it's a pain in the a$$ to go rent a car every time you need one.  The closest rental is a 5 mile bike ride from the house and usually I need the car because I'm carrying enough stuff to warrant it.  The other issue is that while I'm only physically driving the car about once a week for less than an hour at a time, I need it available for more than that i.e. multi-day camping trips, trailhead or airport parking lot. 

These problems are logistically solvable with technology.  That's why I'm so intrigued by the possible proliferation of car sharing services not just in major cities but suburbs as well.  I love the idea of being able to walk out my front door, walk maybe a few blocks to an available car swipe my phone and head on out.  Then if I'm going to the airport, I park it somewhere for free and it becomes available for the next guy who just landed and needs a car.  Every car could be linked up with GPS and software could track all the vehicle locations, anticipate demand and incentive pricing to make sure that cars end up where they need to be.  In the future, cars could become automated but we have the current technology to make this work right now. 

Benefits include freeing up tons of parking since there are so many fewer cars just sitting around doing nothing.
Use your garage space for a workshop or workout area.
Sharing of resources is more environmentally friendly.  Free up capital for more productive uses.
Faster fleet turnover due to increased utilization rates.  This would lead to much faster adoption of new technology.
No need to buy a car for the worst case scenario i.e. transporting 7 passengers in the snow while towing a trailer once a year (again more efficient).
No need to perform vehicle maintenance or car washing etc
Greater flexibility to combine with biking when necessary

This type of approach would combine the best worlds of biking and public transportation with the freedom and flexibility of personal vehicle ownership.

Thoughts?
That is why I used enterprise, they pick you up.  Also, we have car shares and it cost more than the car rental places unless you were borrow it for an hour or so.  Also, they are very limited in where they are.  For example, I have to both pick up and drop at the university, the closest of which is a fifteen to twenty minute bike ride.

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #47 on: October 18, 2014, 06:51:12 PM »
Personally, I know quite a few people in their 20s and 30s who have never owned a car (several of whom don't even have a license)- which baffles my parents, aunts and uncles.  This is doubtlessly skewed because I most readily associate with other bike-riding, MMM types, but still
I suspect this is largely based upon location.  Where I live, we just don't have public transportation, so a car is pretty much a requirement.  I know two adults who don't drive -- one is a friend of my daughter's, and she's a major mooch.  The other is blind.  I know a couple teens who are reluctant to drive, but most of them get over that.

However, I don't doubt that young adults living in cities DON'T drive.
And since more people are telecommuting /working from home, lots of people probably need cars less than they did in the past.   
In a generation or so, with the advent of self driving cars, I can foresee not owning a car at all or maybe just having a very small gas efficient car for daily commuting if necessary.   If I need a larger vehicle for a special family trip, I would press a button on my phone, and a larger car would arrive at my door by itself.   It drives me crazy that people feel that they need to own the largest vehicle that they possibly will ever need, even if they only use it to capacity less than 5% of the time.
I'm doing that now.  I have a small, efficient car for every day.  When we bought it (can it really have been 8 years ago?) we agreed that we'd buy that car, which was the one I wanted and which fit our lifestyle . . . and on the rare occasion that we wanted something larger -- for a vacation, or to move our kids into college -- we'd rent something.  It's been a money-saver NOT to pay for that larger vehicle all the time.  I think we've NEEDED a larger can something like 4-5 times in 8 years.  Renting is super-easy; I make a reservation on the internet and pick the car up -- well, when we rent, it's usually a van -- only a few miles from my house.  I can leave my small car in their locked lot. 


BuildingFrugalHabits

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #48 on: October 18, 2014, 09:48:21 PM »
That is why I used enterprise, they pick you up.  Also, we have car shares and it cost more than the car rental places unless you were borrow it for an hour or so.  Also, they are very limited in where they are.  For example, I have to both pick up and drop at the university, the closest of which is a fifteen to twenty minute bike ride.

Dude that's badass that they can pick you up. Maybe even better if they would just drop the vehicle off for you so you don't have to go by the office or anything.  Thanks for the tip.  That's why I stick around these forums!

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #49 on: October 21, 2014, 10:21:33 AM »
Personally, I know quite a few people in their 20s and 30s who have never owned a car (several of whom don't even have a license)- which baffles my parents, aunts and uncles.  This is doubtlessly skewed because I most readily associate with other bike-riding, MMM types, but still
I suspect this is largely based upon location.  Where I live, we just don't have public transportation, so a car is pretty much a requirement.  I know two adults who don't drive -- one is a friend of my daughter's, and she's a major mooch.  The other is blind.  I know a couple teens who are reluctant to drive, but most of them get over that.

However, I don't doubt that young adults living in cities DON'T drive.
And since more people are telecommuting /working from home, lots of people probably need cars less than they did in the past.   

There certainly are large sections of the US where not having a car is still impractical - for example where I used to live and where my in-laws still live in rural New England.

What I think has been largely missed in this discussion is that there is a very real trend of millennials driving less than previous generations at that age.  Certainly the large majority still have licenses and drive cars, but this is the first time since the baby-boomer generation came of driving age that the % of drivers has gone down compared to the previous generation. 
The only question here is why are they driving less? Is this just a symptom from the great recession, or is it something that 'has legs' and will continue?