Zipcar-Funded Study Shows That Young People Prefer Car-Sharing

December 15, 2011

Chances are pretty good that you've already heard about the young whippersnappers known as Millennials and how they totally prefer gadgets to gearboxes. Now, there's more proof of Generation Y's aversion to vehicles, but there's a catch: it comes from a study funded by Zipcar.

That study was conducted in October of this year and polled 1,045 adults 18 and over, 989 of whom were licensed drivers. The study was fairly evenly divided between drivers 18-to-34 (Millennials aka Generation Y), 35-to-44, 45-to-54, and those 55 and older -- though the oldest and youngest groups made up over 50% of the total.

In keeping with previous studies, this one found that younger drivers were shying away from car ownership. Millennials seemed to have three major reasons for that:

1. The high cost of car ownership and maintenance (surely daunting, given the unemployment rate among young people)

2. The ability to interact with friends through social media, meaning that there's less reason to drive around town and see others face-to-face

3. A sense of environmental responsibility that's causing young people to take public transportation, walk, ride bikes, or carpool more often

Not surprisingly, Millennials were the most eager of the four groups to embrace car-sharing, with 53% expressing interest in programs like Zipcar's.

In fairness to Zipcar, we should point out that the study was carried out by an independent firm, KRC Research. And it's not as if KRC's findings are vastly different from other studies: clearly, young people think about vehicles and transportation very differently from their parents. For the record, though, it's always a little iffy for a company like Zipcar to fund research that proves its own point.

If you'd like to glance at the summary's findings yourself, have a peek at this short slideshow.

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