Sweet 16 ≠Sweet Car?

According to a recent article in Advertising Age, there has been a shift amongst the Teens. A car is no longer top on the birthday gift list, GASP!

I know, shocker.  When I was 16, all I wanted was my license and a car.  Having an older sister and the fact that my dad worked a few miles away from my school, dashed that hope and dream. I was a bona fide carpooler before being green’ was even cool.

But the times, they are a-changing! This recent study shows that:

  • “In 1978, nearly half of 16-year-olds and three-quarters of 17-year-olds in the U.S. had their driver’s licenses, according to Department of Transportation data. By 2008, the most recent year data was available, only 31 percent of 16-year-olds and 49 percent of 17-year-olds had licenses, with the decline accelerating rapidly since 1998.”
  • “Twenty-somethings went from driving a disproportionate amount of the nation’s highway miles in 1995 to under-indexing for driving in 2009.”
  • “It’s not just new drivers driving less. The share of automobile miles driven by people ages 21 to 30 in the U.S. fell to 13.7 percent in 2009 from 18.3 percent in 2001 and 20.8 percent in 1995.”

Now the factor contributing to this decline could be anything. Ad Age says it’s the Digital revolution that is driving (no pun intended) this trend.  The fact that shopping isn’t just at the mall, it’s now online and that kids don’t want to spend their money on gas but would rather it go towards a new phone or gadget, could very well be the culprit – or is it that Gen Y gets it, a car isn’t really always necessary to have a good time.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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