Have Millennials Abandoned the Auto Market? Our Data Says No

Posted by Ashley Karr on April 28, 2016

A lot has been made of Millennials’ ambivalence about buying cars, and it may be true that young people are getting driver’s licenses later than past generations. Just-released data shows that the number of 16-year-old licensed drivers is at an 50-year low.

But among older Millennials – people in the 25-34-year-old range – interest in car ownership appears to be growing.

CarGurus user data shows that the single largest age group on CarGurus.com is 25-to-34-year-olds. The next-youngest age cohort, 18-to-24-year-olds, is the second largest.dsfsd.png

To be sure, there are plenty of older CarGurus users, too. Forty-six percent of CarGurus.com visitors are between 35 and 64, and these older shoppers tend to be wealthier and buy more expensive vehicles than younger people.iStock_000023266894_Small-828513-edited.jpg

Yet, as we reported in February, the youngest group (people aged 18 to 24) is the fastest-growing age cohort on CarGurus. These users aren’t just browsing, either: JD Power data shows that Millennials as a whole now make up 28% of new-car sales, making them the second largest slice of the new-car market (after Baby Boomers).

This trend will only pick up in the years to come as the Boomers continue to age. Cadillac estimates that Generations X and Y will make up 80 percent of the auto market by 2020.

What can you do to reach both old and young shoppers? A diverse inventory mix will help; Millennials are the most diverse generation in the nation’s history, and occupy all rungs of the income ladder.

Still, the Top 10 vehicles for Millennial shoppers are the same as for the market as a whole, an analysis of Polk registration data shows. Now that Millennials are arriving in the auto market in force, it turns out they’re not so different from the generations that preceded them.


Learn more about how CarGurus can help you reach low-funnel auto shoppers and increase lead traffic. Call us at (855) 234-0452 or click here.

Topics: car buyers, data, research