Millennials have less say in first car buy than Boomers: CarGurus

Online automotive shopping platform CarGurus has released survey findings indicating that Millennials have less influence and financial stake in their first car compared to Baby Boomers. The survey also found that despite these differences, a used car was the first car for a high percentage of both Millennials and Boomers, and the majority of both groups got their first vehicle between the ages of 16 and 18.

“I think shifts in generational preferences transcend country borders and that experiences in getting a first car for Boomers and Millennials in the U.S. are likely quite similar to the dynamics in Canada,” said Sarah Welch, Senior Vice-President of Consumer Marketing at CarGurus.

The study looked at American first-car buying habits and found that 37 per cent of Millennials contributed to the cost of their first car, compared to 65 per cent of Boomers. Also, 23 per cent of Millennials’ first cars were hand-me-downs, while 10 per cent of Baby Boomers’ first cars came from a family member.

Welch said that the survey findings point to the need for dealerships to cater their customer service to both the parents and their children.

“Finding that balance of a desirable first set of wheels that fits mom or dad’s budget can be tricky but by providing price transparency, detailed vehicle information and stress-free dealership experience, everyone can leave the lot satisfied,” said Welch.

She added that with graduation season in full-swing, “now is a great time to reach families with relevant messaging.”

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