SAN FRANCISCO -- Many millennials really do like cars and strive to own one.
But they’d like the car buying process to take less time, be more transparent, offer more affordable customization options and have more targeted advertising.
Those are the conclusions of a study conducted last spring by MTV, released today at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here.
The study is in sharp contrast to other recent studies that have shown millennials, also called Gen Y, lack a passion for car ownership and prefer other forms of transportation.
This shift in driving behaviors and attitudes towards cars is because millennials are “aging up into car ownership,” the MTV study said. Also, a stronger economy allows for more millennials to afford cars now. Millennials are people between the ages of 18 and 34.
In MTV’s study, “Millennials Have Drive,” young people said they drive more miles per month than other generations today. The average number of miles driven by millennials is 934 miles a month compared with baby boomers’ 544 miles and Gen X’s 790 miles, the study said.
The study, which included about 3,600 millennials, also found 3 in 4 agreed they would rather give up social media for a day than give up their cars. It said 72 percent would rather give up texting for a week than surrender their cars.
“The insights gleaned from this first auto study show a generation that emphasizes car ownership and the critical role it plays in their day-to-day lives,” said Berj Kazanjian, senior vice president of ad sales research at MTV. “Millennials, like other generations, see car ownership as a way to establish independence, but millennials also see car ownership as a way to craft their unique adult identity.”
The study said 8 in 10 millennials get around most often by car vs. any other form of transportation. The study said 82 percent of millennials find buying or leasing a new car “exciting.”
But millennials said the buying experience could be improved. Eight in 10 believe that buying or leasing a car should take less time. Additionally, 71 percent agreed that ratings and comparisons among vehicles are often unclear and 87 percent say the buying process should be more transparent.
The study found 87 percent of millennials said they enjoyed customizing things to make them unique and they would like more affordable ways to do so with their cars.
About 57 percent of young people surveyed said car advertisements influence their purchasing decisions. But about half of the young people surveyed said the current car advertisements did not speak to who they are.
MTV will release a second automobile study later this year.