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Surprise: Study Shows Millennials Actually Prefer Driving to Texting

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/27/2015 Kelly Pleskot
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We've heard it a million times: Young Millennials would rather spend their time in the virtual world than drive to see actual people. But new evidence is beginning to dispel that notion. Most recently, a study from MTV reveals 72 percent of Millennials would rather give up texting for a week than their car.

Research

According to the data, three in four Millennials would also forego social media for a day as opposed to their ride. But perhaps more importantly, the study shows Millennials have a genuine enthusiasm for cars and are logging more miles than any other generation.

Seventy percent of young people say they "like driving a lot," compared to just 58 percent of Baby Boomers and 66 percent of Gen-Xers. Over 80 percent of Millennials find buying or leasing a new car exciting, and three in four Millennials say they couldn't live without their car. A whopping 85 percent of Millennials look forward to owning their dream car one day, versus 59 percent of Boomers and 72 percent of Gen-Xers. They are also more eager to learn about new cars (73 percent) than their older counterparts.

Not only do they desire to drive, but they are actually driving quite a bit. Young people on average claim to drive 934 miles a month, compared to just 544 for Boomers and 790 for members of Gen X. Eight in ten Millennials say they get around by car more than any other form of transportation, which goes against previous studies that showed a decline in driving among young people. These results mirror a study from last month from the U.S. Census Bureau, which declared that Millennials are driving to work as often as young people in the 1980s.

Related link: Cars novice drivers should avoid

So what can automakers do to appeal to younger buyers? Most Millennials say their car should express who they are, and 81 percent said they wish there were "more affordable ways to customize my car." Eighty-seven percent also express frustration with the buying process, saying it should be more transparent. Half of Millennials said they can't relate to car advertisements.

It is true that Millennials had been delaying their driver's license exams, but it looks like that hasn't stopped them from a big part of the car market today.

“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, MTV senior vice president for Ad Sales Research, in a recent statement. “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."

Conducted in spring of 2014, the "Millennials Have Drive" study included responses from 3610 Millennials ages 18-34. Important to note is that the pool of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers in the survey was much smaller, with just 400 and 403 from each group respectively. A follow-up automotive study will be released by MTV later this year.

Source: MTV

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