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  1. #1
    Junior Member Profileclimb's Avatar
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    Millennials don't really care about cars.

    I have read many fascinating articles on how Millennials care about technology and social networking and the expense of owning a car is not needed as they are all connected through technology and bus or bicycle are the transportation modes of choice.The car manufactures see a disturbing trend, and don't know what to do.The problem is cars are getting more expensive, and young people don't have large incomes and don't want to be saddled with massive debt.I trying to fund flight school and helicopters are very expensive, as I ponder not buying a car how much money I can save. I think the Millennials are smarter than we thought. I find cars are convenient, but the insane cost, and with technology and social networking being the game changer.I see Millennials spending as much on their cell phone bill as a car payment, that is one issue in sure.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    In my city, I see that a lot of young people are moving to a neighborhood that has good carfree amenities and a lot of entertainment and inexpensive restaurants. Many of them don't have cars, or share a car with housemates. Many of these people attended a large university nearby, and decided to stay in the area after graduating. It's certainly one of the most hopeful signs in our region, and the city government is doing a lot to encourage this pattern.


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    I choose my house by a simple rule. Can I cycle anywhere I need to go (including work) within 30 minutes? If not then I'll find a place that fits. A car is the tool of last resort for me and I was born in the 1970s when people drove around in big cars. I remember my father had a v6 Ford Falcon and a v8 in his jetboat. Not so common these days!

  5. #5
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
    I choose my house by a simple rule. Can I cycle anywhere I need to go (including work) within 30 minutes? If not then I'll find a place that fits. A car is the tool of last resort for me and I was born in the 1970s when people drove around in big cars. I remember my father had a v6 Ford Falcon and a v8 in his jetboat. Not so common these days!
    Most thinking people would chose a house close to amenities... even if they used the car extensively. Unfortunately many are forced to settle for less than ideal suburbs that meet their price range.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
    I choose my house by a simple rule. Can I cycle anywhere I need to go (including work) within 30 minutes? If not then I'll find a place that fits. A car is the tool of last resort for me and I was born in the 1970s when people drove around in big cars. I remember my father had a v6 Ford Falcon and a v8 in his jetboat. Not so common these days!
    So was I - when I was a Melbourne student in the early 00s, the big Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores were already starting to die out, to be replaced by Toyotas and Hondas.

    Now they are pretty rare compared to the SUVs which have taken their place.

  7. #7
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    Baby Boomer here! My, how times have changed. Getting a car was everything when I was a teen! Of course there were no PCs or cellphones at all then. My first car was $175. but my hourly was $1.75! I could do all of the maintenance and tune-ups. My insurance through my parents policy was about $50.00 for six months.

    I totally can understand how younger people today can't bother with cars. The prices are crazy and repairs are deadly to the budget. With Hour Car and other services for when you do need a vehicle - why bother? I would definitely go carless if I were young today.

  8. #8
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Many millennials do care about cars, it's just that most don't hold them to the same status level as earlier generations did. The millennials that I work with, a car is just a means of transport and not much else. Take away their car, and life might be a little more difficult for them, but take away their smart phone.........

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  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    they look better in the car ads than us old fartz..

  11. #11
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    The ~2008 financial crisis really affected this "trend" more than is immediately obvious. Millenials weren't buying cars for a lot of reasons, but a big one was that they had no money, little prospect of a steady income, and were as likely to have moved back in with their parents as not so they could borrow a parent's car occasionally. They didn't buy cars simply because it did not pencil.

    I do agree that cars are have less value as prestige objects than for the baby boomer generation and one can stay current on with the latest connectivity prestige objects for much less money than car payments. The millenials are taking a hard look at suburban cul-de-sac life with large lots and low walkscores and preferring dense urban cores. This is a good thing, but the real truth-telling will occur when those millenials have offspring and decide that a superior school system, a quarter-acre + lot, and easy access to the kids' soccer field are more important than the urban life ideals of their youth.

    I am hopeful, though, that many will actually calculate the costs of suburban life and realize they are better off in urban settings.

  12. #12
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    Speaking as one on the Gen X / Gen Y boundary who does like cars, it's hard to afford with the added costs we are expected to pick up. A new car now costs much more than it did in the sixties, because it is much better, with electronic fuel injection, shoulder belts, crumple zones, airbags, stability control, and a lot more luxury too. You are required to carry insurance. If you dare to have an accident ever, the insurance goes up. If you think a cell phone bill is equivalent to a car payment plus insurance you haven't bought a car lately. You are looking at net $300/mo for a penalty box and $600/mo for something nice. Cars more expensive than that are usually bought on lease. Aside from the car payment, the expected standard of living is higher, in larger houses with more amenities on smaller lots, and wages have been stagnating. There is that cell phone bill and also a cable bill which no one paid fifty years ago. We don't get pensions, so we have to save for ourselves while we watch our forebears get a payout for working fewer years. The cost of health care for my family at least, with a high deductible plan the only one available, is $14,000 a year. You can't get a job to pay for all this stuff without a college degree, and many people my age are still carrying student loans, and that situation hasn't gotten better for those who followed me.

    And the cars, even though they are much better, are mostly pretty boring and getting more so. I had a 2001 and a 2011 WRX and the former despite having much less power at the same weight was a much more fun car. It was amusing to look at and had a sort of hanging-on-by-one-tire feel to driving. The later one was faster, planted, styled conservatively, and dull.
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  13. #13
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    While it may be true that Millennials as a whole are buying cars less frequently than their parents did, and it also may be true that many Gen X-ers, Boomers, etc are ditching the burbs for a low-car life in the city, at the same time, there does not seem to be any shortage of people driving cars. Anywhere. Not even in bike friendly cities. I live in Portland, and I bike everywhere. Yet I can't believe how many jacked up trucks, mag wheel Mustangs, 20 year old beater cars etc race by me on the bike friendly sharrows. I'm guessing it's not the Boomers driving these cars either. The freeway is always a constant roar. So even if all Millennials never buy a car, we still have plenty of work to do to get more people out of cars and into other forms of transit to make places safer, more pleasant, and less noisy in general.
    1997 Terry Classic

  14. #14
    Senior Member eastbay71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
    I choose my house by a simple rule. Can I cycle anywhere I need to go (including work) within 30 minutes? If not then I'll find a place that fits. A car is the tool of last resort for me and I was born in the 1970s when people drove around in big cars. I remember my father had a v6 Ford Falcon and a v8 in his jetboat. Not so common these days!
    It would be great if I could be so flexible. I couldn't afford to buy the house today that I bought 6 years ago so if my job changed I could not afford to pick up and move. I also have a spouse that I have to consider she works about 75 miles away from me (we drive in opposite directions) so no home would fit into the ideal 30 minute radius for us.
    In Sheldon We Trust '09 Motobecane Jubilee Dirt Dropper - '00 Trek 6000 Alpha Al - '95 Schwinn [nine 5] Dirt Dropper - '87 Miyata 912 - '72 Nishiki International

  15. #15
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    I work in a rural area; so most of the kids here still want cars. The problem with small towns is that even the nearest bike shops is about 70 miles away with no public transportation at all (other than a flight to Denver once a day).
    As a nation we still continue to enjoy a literally unprecedented prosperity; and it is probable that only reckless speculation and disregard of legitimate business methods on the part of the business world can materially mar this prosperity. Theodore Roosevelt, Sixth Annual Message, December 3, 1906

  16. #16
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    There are a few sides to the car-free Millennial trend.

    1. New cars are expensive, and so are used ones. By the time you get down into the stuff "kids" can afford, they're spending more on repairs than they are on payments.

    2. Those young people who can afford a new car can't afford a *good* new car. Sure, car makers market their small, slow offerings to young people with electronics and high MPG numbers, but who has grown up desiring a Toyota Corolla? Boomers had the muscle car era, we have Peak Oil and the green police.

    3. Those used cars that are cheap enough for most young people to buy fall under the scrutiny of government regulation in most states. Regs that say your windshield can't have any cracks, ABS must work, etc.; stuff that would knock an otherwise decent car down into our price bracket while still being perfectly driveable. I've got it lucky in Michigan, my car would fail any inspection in those states that demand a pass before obtaining yearly tags, but it's fine. Still, is it something I *want*? Not hardly.

    4. Most Millennials have noticed, as some here have pointed out, that they can buy a top-of-the-line bike fully outfitted for their commute for the price of a 2000 Chevy Cavalier, or a lower-spec one for the cost of suspension repairs on said car. Plus you have costs of gas, tags, insurance, and in most states an inspection fee. None of which apply to the bicycle because you're feeding yourself anyway and you're its engine.

    Car-free/light is starting to make a lot of sense to me since I started reading this forum. Nevermind that my car makes my back hurt on journeys long enough to make driving make sense.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxillius View Post
    Boomers had the muscle car era, we have Peak Oil and the green police.
    Who are the "green police"?
    Gimme that car-free living!

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    Emissions mandates and fuel mileage legislation. Everyone who has taken the fun out of driving. The reason why cars like the Dodge Challenger are $45k+ instead of the equivalent of $15k like they were in the late 60s and early 70s.

    I understand the perceived slight there, considering this is a cycling forum, and I didn't intend to offend anyone. I ride because I like to, not because I believe Al Gore's story.

  19. #19
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxillius View Post
    Emissions mandates and fuel mileage legislation. Everyone who has taken the fun out of driving. The reason why cars like the Dodge Challenger are $45k+ instead of the equivalent of $15k like they were in the late 60s and early 70s.

    I understand the perceived slight there, considering this is a cycling forum, and I didn't intend to offend anyone. I ride because I like to, not because I believe Al Gore's story.
    Last edited by gerv; 10-06-14 at 06:03 PM. Reason: trollibus ergo sum..

  20. #20
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxillius View Post
    Emissions mandates and fuel mileage legislation. Everyone who has taken the fun out of driving. The reason why cars like the Dodge Challenger are $45k+ instead of the equivalent of $15k like they were in the late 60s and early 70s.

    I understand the perceived slight there, considering this is a cycling forum, and I didn't intend to offend anyone. I ride because I like to, not because I believe Al Gore's story.
    Even though they're pretty expensive, the price of driving is still deeply subsidized by governments. And drivers don't even begin to pay for externalized coats like public health problems, extreme environmental damage, degradation of the atmosphere, and wars fought for oil.


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by findude View Post
    This is a good thing, but the real truth-telling will occur when those millenials have offspring and decide that a superior school system, a quarter-acre + lot, and easy access to the kids' soccer field are more important than the urban life ideals of their youth.
    It won't matter what they prefer if the sub-urban life is not financially possible for them. Some see the 2008 collapse as a temporary aberration that we will get over. We will come out of the rock bottom but, for reasons that I won't fully develop here, I think that we're going to experience a period of prolonged stagnation and economic de-growth. Millenial culture may not prize the car but even if they did it is a moot point. Economics is the tail that wags the dog.
    Last edited by TheBoogly; 10-06-14 at 11:13 PM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    And drivers don't even begin to pay for externalized coats like public health problems, extreme environmental damage, degradation of the atmosphere...
    Didn't you read his post. He doesn't believe "Al Gore's story".
    Gimme that car-free living!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    ^ And Inflation, that Challenger was going to cost more regardless.
    Assume nothing; Question everything

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Didn't you read his post. He doesn't believe "Al Gore's story".
    Thus everything I say from now until eternity is void. But I didn't come in here for a debate on religion so...

    TheBoogly's got it right. The economic climate doesn't favor the suburban life in the foreseeable future so it's just as well that Millennials aren't attached to their cars. Economics trump all other issues. Would I like a Tesla? Heck yes! Can I afford an $80k car? I wish! I can't even afford to fix the one I got for $500 properly. No one likes getting gas, no one likes breathing exhaust and if there was a cheap alternative that the lazies could get on board with (smoke-belching buses don't count), the change would be immediate. But the fact of the matter is that the current liquid fuel infrastructure took over 70 years to build to its current state and to convert to an all-electric system would cost billions and take decades. And no amount of bird-killing windmills will change that.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxillius View Post
    Thus everything I say from now until eternity is void. But I didn't come in here for a debate on religion so...

    TheBoogly's got it right. The economic climate doesn't favor the suburban life in the foreseeable future so it's just as well that Millennials aren't attached to their cars. Economics trump all other issues. Would I like a Tesla? Heck yes! Can I afford an $80k car? I wish! I can't even afford to fix the one I got for $500 properly. No one likes getting gas, no one likes breathing exhaust and if there was a cheap alternative that the lazies could get on board with (smoke-belching buses don't count), the change would be immediate. But the fact of the matter is that the current liquid fuel infrastructure took over 70 years to build to its current state and to convert to an all-electric system would cost billions and take decades. And no amount of bird-killing windmills will change that.
    Gimme that car-free living!

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