Americans of all ages still love their old cars

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Despite predictions from the Great Recession that Americans’ love affair with cars and driving is fading, Millennials and Gen Z are now saying they’re more – not less – likely to want to own a car classic or collectible than their parents and grandparents, according to the 2020 “Why Driving Matters Survey of 10,000 American Drivers.

The main findings include:

  • Gen Z and Millennials most likely to report currently own a classic or collector’s vehicle. Ownership of vintage cars by generation:
    • Generation Z: 22%
    • Millennial: 25%
    • Generation X: 19%
    • Boomers: 13%
    • Quiet: 11%
  • The younger generations of vehicle owners who not yet own a classic or collector’s vehicle are more interested in owning one than older generations, indicating a bright future for the hobby:
    • Generation Z: 53%
    • Millennials: 57%
    • Generation X: 49%
    • Baby boomers: 33%
    • Quiet: 19%

This finding is consistent with data from Hagerty indicating that, since 2017, Millennials and Gen Xers have sought classic vehicle insurance quotes and vehicle values ​​via Hagerty Assessment Tools more often than older generations. Considering current trends, the Millennials, the largest in the country, will become the largest group in the hobby in the near future.

Hagerty commissioned TRUE Global Intelligence, the research practice of communications firm FleishmanHillard, to investigate more than 10,000 Americans aged 18 and over, and the data was weighted based on figures from the continuing survey. on the United States Census Bureau population by sex, age, region, education, and race / ethnicity. The “Why Driving Matters” survey also found ample evidence that the nation’s long-standing love for cars and driving remains strong.

  • Almost three in four Americans (73%) enjoy driving, regardless of their generation.
  • 38% describe themselves as active “driving enthusiasts”, defined as belonging to an automobile club, participating in off-road or circuit driving and attending car shows and auctions.
  • Each generation has ranked freedom as the number one reason they enjoy driving.

Analysis of data collected by TRUE Global Intelligence found: “Much of the media’s ‘driving death’ following the Great Recession was based on data showing that younger generations were later getting their licenses, buying their first vehicle later. , and buy fewer vehicles compared to previous generations at the same age. This confused purchasing power with demand. The recession hit the younger generations harder and delayed a series of major purchases and milestones in life. As millennials achieved greater purchasing power and started families, their buying behavior increasingly resembled that of other generations. The lag was due to the disproportionate blow the generation suffered during the recession and the unique burden of student debt. It took them longer to reclaim their purchasing power, but not as long as it took the myth of young people who hate cars to die.


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