Author Topic: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?  (Read 13000 times)

ILoveHandbags

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #50 on: October 21, 2014, 10:29:59 AM »
The Internet is far more important to our generation than anything else. Internet first, mobility second. Not having a car sucks but isn't a big deal, especially if you live in the city, but not having the Internet practically means you don't exist to anybody, and it also means you can't really even find a job.

ivyhedge

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #51 on: October 21, 2014, 10:41:18 AM »
We sold our car last year when we moved into the city. Even after accounting for the parking portion of our condo fee, we make strong returns on the obscene rate we charge annual renters. And no insurance, taxes, and maintenance pays for the weekly rentals I use through a car sharing service. I bike everywhere else, including to my tutoring gigs.
However, I don't think we'll be sans car for much longer. I'm tiring of old cars with questionable maintenance and strange odors, scheduling pickups and returns, and no longer having the option of RelayRides' hourly option.
Returning to a car is on the back burner now (and we could still park it outside of our garage spot so we'd not lose the rental option), but we make considerable income and are more Boglehead than Mustachian: I'd rather have something that's on demand, a known quantity. Maybe we'll rent it to a select few. Maybe not. But not everyone is given to permanently ditching the car - even those who have their spending, investments, and income in check.

Gin1984

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #52 on: October 21, 2014, 10:56:12 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?
Part of the reason may be not the recession but many states had delayed licenses.  Ca did not allow you to drive with anyone under 18 for a year after you got your license if you were under 18.  I knew many people who just waited on getting their licenses till 18 and because of that were very comfortable with public transit.

fb132

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #53 on: October 21, 2014, 11:56:05 AM »
I guess it all depends where you live. Where I live, if you have no car, they go insane and annoy with questions like "How come you still don't drive?"...btw I am 32 and never owned a car, I prefer taking the bus. Cost much less and it is pretty much reliable in my city.

AgileTurtle

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #54 on: October 22, 2014, 05:55:35 AM »
Part of the reason may be not the recession but many states had delayed licenses.  Ca did not allow you to drive with anyone under 18 for a year after you got your license if you were under 18.  I knew many people who just waited on getting their licenses till 18 and because of that were very comfortable with public transit.

I think you are on to something.  States are making more and more restrictions on driving at young ages. People before me had to do hardly anythng to get a license but my brothers had to jump through all kinds of hoops. That and car insurance is insane for young drivers. My youngest brother has friends who parents would  not let them get a licences until they moved out because them just having a license radically increased the car insurance. My brother had a junker car in his name, but since he lived with my parents their insurance went up by around 200 a month.

Pooperman

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #55 on: October 22, 2014, 06:20:30 AM »
Part of the reason may be not the recession but many states had delayed licenses.  Ca did not allow you to drive with anyone under 18 for a year after you got your license if you were under 18.  I knew many people who just waited on getting their licenses till 18 and because of that were very comfortable with public transit.

I think you are on to something.  States are making more and more restrictions on driving at young ages. People before me had to do hardly anythng to get a license but my brothers had to jump through all kinds of hoops. That and car insurance is insane for young drivers. My youngest brother has friends who parents would  not let them get a licences until they moved out because them just having a license radically increased the car insurance. My brother had a junker car in his name, but since he lived with my parents their insurance went up by around 200 a month.

I can attest to insurance being silly. It'll cost me & SO about $120/mo for insurance (state minimums) because of our age. Squeaky-clean record, barely drive, one car that's nearly 10 years old now. However, a car is still fairly necessary. I originally got mine to go to community college during high school in a fairly rural area. Kept it through 4-year college, and will keep using it until it dies. SO never had a car (nor a license until she was ~20) until we moved in together. 1 car family isn't hard to do, it's frugal, and we have no reason for a larger car (unless we had 3+ kids instead of 2). Yes the car is inconvenient (black paint and black interior = hot, 2-door = hard to get in/out of back seats), but it runs and does what I need it to. We are millennials (both 24). I will agree with previous posters about the internet being more important. Cars are fun to drive, but they are first and foremost a tool... a very large and expensive tool, but a tool nonetheless.

The car has 85,000 miles on it. It's a 2006 (I drove a lot when I lived in a fairly rural place and due to parents being divorced), but now that I don't intend to drive it very much, it should only be getting ~5k/yr. It'll be good until at least FI, potentially until I die. Despite what some people say, you can totally drive a front-wheel drive car in 6" of snow up and down hills no problem. So to drive this rant home: agree with people above about internet and insurance. Public transport in big cities is a large factor. Mobility from parents is NOT a high priority anymore like it was for the Baby-boom generation (millennials' parents). There are other threads about the dependency issue with my generation and their parents, and that probably has a role to play.

BlueMR2

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #56 on: October 22, 2014, 09:56:19 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.

Good point.  I know people that live an hour (commute time) outside New York and do a half hour drive to pickup the train, then finish with a walk.  All because New York is so insanely expensive to live in that this ridiculous commute is the only way to make it work.

merula

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #57 on: October 23, 2014, 01:01:34 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.

Good point.  I know people that live an hour (commute time) outside New York and do a half hour drive to pickup the train, then finish with a walk.  All because New York is so insanely expensive to live in that this ridiculous commute is the only way to make it work.

Or the increased population will make large public transit networks more cost-effective, meaning that living in the city will be more economical even considering the higher rents. Like a lot of places in Europe.

dragoncar

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Re: less car ownership for millennials - the new trend?
« Reply #58 on: October 23, 2014, 01:10:09 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.

Good point.  I know people that live an hour (commute time) outside New York and do a half hour drive to pickup the train, then finish with a walk.  All because New York is so insanely expensive to live in that this ridiculous commute is the only way to make it work.

Or the increased population will make large public transit networks more cost-effective, meaning that living in the city will be more economical even considering the higher rents. Like a lot of places in Europe.

That would work for commuter transit too.  You know, like a lot of places in Europe.

I am betting on cyclical trends here too.