Millennials Start With Sharing, End With Individual Ownership

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
millennials start with sharing end with individual ownership

Though companies such as Lyft, Car2Go and Uber aim to help the young and the carless get around town without the need for owning a car — Uber wanting to go as far as to replace car ownership, period — the millennials eventually decide to go all in on individual car ownership.

Automotive News reports the transition from using ridesharing and car sharing services to ownership comes when cohorts of the generational group begin families, sometimes moving out of the urban core to do so. The delays in starting a family and purchasing a car are linked to student loan debt and a recovering, highly competitive job market, pushing the age of first-time buyers to the mid-20s at the youngest.

Meanwhile, those who live in cities like Austin, Boston, New York and Seattle are helping to make sharing services a success, with a projected 3.8 million users coming on-board by 2020. In turn, a total of 50 percent either sell a car or postpone buying a car, substituting ownership for sharing, leading to 1.9 million vehicles sold-off or not bought by 2020.

Though sharing may mean fewer vehicles leave the showroom, overall sales are climbing. Over 16 million units are forecast to head out onto the highway by the end of 2014 according to many an analyst. In the long-term, sharing services may also help send their consumer base to the showroom, with those shoppers looking a vehicle based on what they drove as a member of the service.

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  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Jul 29, 2014

    I am in my mid 50's, have 3 cars at home and just last month joined a car sharing service. There are a great many advantages. The number one advantage for younger drivers is that it covers their insurance costs. Here in Ontario a single male under 25 with a good driving record can pay up to $6,000 per year for a car that cost him less than $5k. Not only do they cover the insurance costs, when you do buy your own car, you have an insurance record so the costs come down. If you have no record of being insured, then the costs go even higher. And car insurance is required by law up here.

    • See 1 previous
    • Matador Matador on Jul 29, 2014

      @danio3834 In Europe, the Citroen Saxo did (does?) offer a free insurance program. They're real common among younger drivers- I'm sure this has something to do with it. Someone living in the EU will have to give details, though.

  • Carilloskis Carilloskis on Jul 29, 2014

    I really dont see anyone waiting till there mid 20s to buy a car, most of my friends bought ones in highschool, i shared with my mom who had a jetta TDI and Chevy suburban 4x4 and drove which ever one she wasnt using. between my junior and senoir year of college when I was 19 years old I bought my first car a 2005 Chevy Suburban (summer of 08 gas prices where high and I got a good deal) when I was 22 and a recent college grad I sold it and bought a 2010 SVT Raptor which took me 3 years to pay off. two of my little brothers own 2 vehicles each, 98 exploer/2014 wrangler unlimted, 2001 Pathfinder/2012 Jetta TDI Sport wagon, my sister who has cripliing college debt even got finaced on a 2013 chevy cruz. My best friend is the person i know with the lastest car owner ship at 22 years old when he bought his 2012 silvarado crewcab in cash. I just dont see car sharing being that popular.

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    • EricJ EricJ on Jul 29, 2014

      @Carilloskis It sounds like cars are becoming like horses. City dwellers probably didn't keep their own horses at the same time that most people lived outside cities where they were essentially mandatory. You really don't want a car in most cities, especially in urban core regions. They're an expensive liability and will almost certainly cost you more than a periodic rental, public transit, or ride sharing.

  • Drzhivago138 Drzhivago138 on Jul 29, 2014

    The amount of butthurt from the older generation(s) who sincerely believe it's just laziness that holds Millennnials back is regrettable, but not surprising in the slightest. Why do I bother to read things that I know aren't going to be constructive?

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    • This Is Dawg This Is Dawg on Jul 30, 2014

      These comments, as well as any other remotely political thread on this site, rapidly turn into "Everyone that isn't me is retarded." That people are claiming women are actually mentally damaged blows my mind. Has nobody noticed that men haven't understood women before? That generations don't think alike? Ridiculous.

  • GusTurbo GusTurbo on Aug 03, 2014

    Hopefully this helps knock down the silly trope that Millenials are somehow vastly different than their parents when it comes to cars. I've gotten awfully tired of hearing how my generation cares more about iPhones than driving, and how ride sharing somehow represents burgeoning collectivism among young people, or other nonsense. Owning and insuring a car is expensive. Ride sharing, where available, is cheaper than owning a car and can help you gain some of the benefits that come with having a car. Who's to say that our parents and grandparents wouldn't have used such a system if it were available to them?