Major Life Events Drive Millennial Interest in Car Ownership

Posted by CarGurus Admin on June 6, 2016

We recently explored auto buying habits for younger Millennials – those just out of college. Contrary to much of what has been reported in the media, these young people are interested in buying cars and trucks.

It may be the case that passing a major “life milestone” (i.e., graduating from college) is what spurs young shoppers to start searching for a car. With that in mind, it’s interesting that older Millennials, those aged 25 to 34, also appear to be jumping into the market. 

After all, older Millennials are more likely than young ones to be getting married, buying homes, having children, and advancing in their careers – in other words, reaching the milestones that lead a person to buy a car.

All of these factors seem to be influencing 25-to-34-year-olds. Since we last looked at Millennial shopper behavior on CarGurus, this older Millennial cohort has gained two percentage points of visitor share to become the largest age group on the site.

27.pngWhen you add in the percentage of CG users who are young Millennials (age 18 to 24), the Millennial share of CG traffic rises to 47%.

You may be surprised to hear this. After all, Millennials account for only 28% of new-car registrations.

young_family.jpegYet CarGurus’ inventory is heavily biased towards used vehicles. And younger shoppers – even those on the older end of the Millennial spectrum – are generally price-sensitive. That means they’re more likely to be both shopping used and looking for great deals.

Some commentators have suggested that Millennials have left the auto market for good. This may be the case in big cities, where public transit is available, travel distances are shorter, and ride-sharing is popular.

But nationwide, Millennials are embracing car ownership – as long as they can behind the wheel affordably.


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Topics: car buyers, data, research