By on March 30, 2015

Millennials In The Back Of A Subaru BRAT

According to a study, Millennials not only prefer to shop for cars via mobile devices, but also at the dealership.

Per Edmunds, who commissioned the study earlier this year, 73 percent of Millennials aged 18 to 34 proclaim to be more knowledgeable about the car-buying process than their parents, while over half “actively advise their friends and family” on the process, compared to 37 percent of older Americans.

The study says this is due to the generation’s profieciency with mobile devices in researching the vehicles of their choice prior to purchase, from reading reviews and researching prices, to tracking down models for sale. Eighty percent of Millennials were found to have used such tactics for at least one shopping task.

Meanwhile, 64 percent stated they “valued the in-dealership experience” of face-to-face interaction with dealers, and 96 percent said that it was important to test-drive a vehicle before purchase. Purchases skew towards the used market, where 78 percent of Millennials go for their purchases, 72 percent have considered EVs or hybrids, and 66 percent hope to one day own a car that does all the driving for them.

Regarding technology, while smartphone integration and Wi-Fi are important, such features rank behind price, fuel economy and performance.

The study consisted of two surveys conducted in January and March of 2015, with 1,500 and 1,000 adults between 18 and 34 years of age who made a vehicle purchase within the previous three months polled.

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37 Comments on “Edmunds: Millennials Savvier Car Shoppers Via Mobile Technology...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Millennials? Lol, those are baby-boomers in their BRAT, when they were actually babies

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Are they wealthy? They have a shiny Brat and a portable television/stereo!

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “Are they wealthy?” Not for another 20-30 years after their last Millennial spawn gets out of college and rejects everything their boomer-parents did for them

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I forgot, these people are about the same age as you!

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Yes, and that 1980 BRAT is 35 years old, but we all had fun on wheels

            http://www.tfltruck.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Subaru-Brat-fun-on-wheels.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That woman in the passenger seat is going to get all wet, and mess up her Farrah hair. And I much prefer the look of the quad headlamp Brat!

            Here’s my 1980 choice, to NOT drive on the beach.

            http://s1227.photobucket.com/user/whgaunt/media/P1050422.jpg.html

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Your choice was twice as much as the BRAT, which was fine if you had no intention of producing Millennials. Aren’t you glad your parents didn’t have a Supra instead of you?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Gah they were that expensive!? My parents are too cost-conscious to drop that kind of coin on a vehicle, so no worries there.

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      I don’t know…check out her 3-wolf moon T-shirt

      http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Three-Short-Sleeve-Large/dp/B007I4HI1K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427729822&sr=8-1&keywords=three+wolf+moon

    • 0 avatar
      chiggers

      This is actually the work of Ryan Schude and was shot very recently.

      http://www.ryanschude.com/Them-&-Theirs/1/thumbs

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I hope “mobile technology” includes laptops as the main item. Shopping and researching cars on a phone is awful and takes ages. Just sit down at the dang computer and do it*!

    *Many millennials probably only use their computer at Starbucks so they can feel trendy and with it.

    “72 percent have considered EVs or hybrids”

    This high percentage is a question framing issue, I bet. There’s no way 72% gave serious consideration. They just said they did to appear green. Unless “considered” includes a singular thought like, “Huh, they make a Prius in light green.”

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “I hope “mobile technology” includes laptops as the main item. Shopping and researching cars on a phone is awful and takes ages. Just sit down at the dang computer and do it*!”

      Probably includes stuff like getting dealer quotes via email and getting other dealers to price match. When I bought my TSX, I emailed a distant dealer, got a quote, then brought it to my local dealer, whipped out the phone, showed him the emailed quote, and he matched it. Done and done, “shopping using a mobile device.”

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Ditto – I got quotes from dealers in CA and TX for my current BMW order. Bought it at the dealer down the street here in ME, who actually gave me a slightly better deal overall since their fees are lower. All done over the Interwebs. Though being a crusty old Gen-Xer, I did it from my sundry computers, not my phone. Though I could have, that is too much like work.

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    Interesting thing about Millennials: they lie just like everyone else.

    What fast food store do they say they prefer? Chipolte.
    where do they actually go? McDonalds.

    They’ve just figured out that lying to survey takers is easier than any generation before them. You’ll forgive me if I take their survey results with a 50 lb bag of sodium chloride.

  • avatar
    Dan

    “73 percent of Millennials aged 18 to 34 proclaim to be more knowledgeable about the car-buying process than their parents, while over half “actively advise their friends and family” on the process.”

    20 something special snowflakes who have bought one car, ever, and already believe that they’re not only better at it than their parents were but, in fact, so good that other people are in need of their advice. Even if they didn’t ask.

    Interesting, tell us more.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      “20 something special snowflakes who have bought one car, ever, and already believe that they’re not only better at it than their parents were but, in fact, so good that other people are in need of their advice. Even if they didn’t ask.

      Interesting, tell us more.”

      This seems consistent with every generation of American 20-year-olds, no?

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “Turn around and face the change
        Young hearts all beat the same
        The fire in the soul remains
        Ooh in every generation
        Young rebels have their time
        Glory days are gonna shine
        Ooh there’s a brand new face waiting right behind
        Every generation”-Journey “Every Generation”

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        The most special thing about millenials is how spectacularly unspecial they actually are.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      20 somethings are always generous with advice; it does not mean that anybody listens to it. Same as it ever was.

    • 0 avatar
      r129

      I’m 32, so I guess I fit into this demographic. I have purchased 5 new cars and 3 used cars of my own, not to mention the dozen or so transactions for friends and family that I have been directly involved in through the years.

      I don’t think it’s too arrogant of me to consider myself more knowledgeable about the car-buying process than most of my friends, family and co-workers of any age. Everyone who comments on this site is an “expert” car buyer, but remember, most car buyers do little to no research, have no desire to negotiate, and walk into the dealership with “sucker” written all over them.

      Does everyone seek out or listen to my advice? No, of course not. That’s why one set of relatives left their local Mazda dealer a couple of years ago with a new Mazda3 for MSRP minus rebate, even though the dealer’s website (that they didn’t bother to visit) was advertising the same car for $1,000 less.

      On the other hand, my aunt and uncle who live out of state asked for my assistance. This is where online inventory and “internet managers” really become useful. I was able to locate the exact vehicle they wanted and negotiate what I thought was a very fair deal entirely through email. All they had to do was walk in, sign the paperwork, and drive home with their new car. Maybe if someone had gone in person and played hardball with the dealer they would have done a little better, but these people never, ever would have done that.

      That being said, I doubt that 73% of the people in the poll should be giving anyone advice, and car shopping using a mobile device is an infuriating experience. Mobile devices really only come in handy to show slimy dealers that yes, the car is in fact advertised for a lower price online.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        To have bought 5 new cars by the time you are 32 is highly unusual, and has been for many, many years. I’m a huge car nut, and have been quite successful in life, but I did not buy my first new car until I was 32, and my second until I was 41. And at that, I was well ahead of literally ALL of my friends and family, most of whom did not start buying new cars until they were much closer to 40. I have bought a couple dozen used cars. So to have bought 5 new cars by 32 you were probably unusually successful. Or unusually stupid, but I try not to be that judgy guy and prefer to think you got an engineering degree and had more money than you know what to do with right from day one. Or are a trustafarian. :-)

        In general, 20-somethings don’t have much of a clue about much of anything. I certainly didn’t, and the 20-somethings I know and/or work with sure don’t.

        • 0 avatar
          r129

          Of course I realize that my case is unusual. I just don’t like the idea being perpetuated that most millennials are like the people in the photo. I know lots of successful, hard working people who are my age or younger and who have purchased one or more new cars before the age of 30.

          I’m not unusually well off or stupid. My number of purchases is so high because of leasing and because I’m including a joint vehicle purchase. I actually haven’t purchased a new car while in my 30s, and will probably continue to buy used cars for the foreseeable future.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Clear some of that stuff out of the bed, drop the cap back on, and get busy making some of those millennials. ;-)

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Why are her knees so dirty, appearing to be covered in the same type of topsoil found in the woods in the background?

  • avatar
    Willyam

    Possible photo-origin:

    http://www.ryanschude.com/Them-&-Theirs/32/

    The other car and owner pics are worth seeing as well.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    I don’t know what it is, but whenever I see the word “millenial” I want to punch someone. Anyone; it doesn’t matter.

    Ironically, the only ‘millenial’ (fnnnrrgh!!) I know is my cousin, who by all accounts is smart, accomplished, works hard, is independent, and is not an asshole. But every time I see the word, I like him *a little bit less*.

    I think there may be something wrong with me.

  • avatar
    chiggers

    Please given credit to the artist for the photo featured in this article. His name is Ryan Schude.

    http://www.ryanschude.com/Them-&-Theirs/1/thumbs

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