10 Reasons Why Young Drivers are an Endangered Species
When you turned 16, not only were you determined to get your driver’s license, you were already scoping out the dealerships for a car. That enthusiasm doesn’t exist among the young bucks anymore. In fact, there’s a ton of studies to prove that young people between the ages of 18 – 34 care less about owning a vehicle. So if you’re a parent of a teenager or young adult who doesn’t care for a car, they’re apathy towards being young drivers is quite normal, for various reasons. It’s actually an old-fashioned milestone now.
1. Honey, they shrunk the paychecks
Remember the days when you could get a high-paying job out of high school? They certainly don’t. Today’s young adult generally brings a meagre paycheck home, even after four years of college/university and $40,000 in post-secondary costs (tuition and books). It goes like this: they can spend their hard-earned money to finally leave the nest, or a brand new car that’ll block your car in every morning for another five years.
2. Cars are gifts that keep on taking
You can buy a new car at 0% down – of course that’ll mean higher monthly payments. Additionally, there’s the insurance costs, which is way higher for young people (especially young guys between the ages of 16 – 24). Then there’s the cost of gas. And maintenance. And parking (if you live in the city). Mix those costs with the minimum wage job, unpaid internships and entry-level salaries young people put up with, and you’ll see why many of them don’t want to buy cars.
3. A set of wheels drives them away from freedom
There was a time when owning a car meant taking a step toward independence and individuality. Well, it still does, but young bucks don’t see it that way. Today’s youth prefer unique experiences, rather than flashy products (including cars). Things like travelling, concert going, and entrepreneurship rank higher on the priority lists of many young adults. And it does make sense. After all, it’s safe to say you’ll have fonder memories roaming the streets of Istanbul, instead of the first time your radiator blew out.
4. Maintaining a car is time well wasted
Young drivers today share a common trait found in many youth – they’re commitment-phobic. It’s not so much that they can’t commit to anything, they just don’t want to get tied down in the wrong things. The youth care about other things now. They’d rather spend time building their careers (because they’re scarce in the first place), starting their own businesses and pursuing certain hobbies. In their minds, owning a car takes a slice of time for doing all that fun stuff.
5. They’ve seen what traffic does to you and they’ve said, “not me”
If you’re a parent, pat yourself on the back – you’ve done a good job teaching your kid about the horrors of city traffic. The groaning, honking and accidental profanity bombs informed your kids of a future they didn’t want for themselves. Young adults are well aware of traffic-induced stress. If having their own car means a stop-and-go commute Monday to Friday, for the next four decades, you can bet most of them are saying, “pass”.
6. Driving to work or school ain’t even cool no more
Here’s one you might not get – it’s an attitude thing. A lot of young adults would rather ride bikes, skateboard, and yes, walk, to school or work. There’s also other trendy ways to get around now, such as carpooling or Uber rides. These methods of transportation are cost-effective, socially-engaging and healthy ways of getting to a destination. The old days of trying to be the “it” guy or girl with the shiny convertible is no longer held on a pedestal.
7. They can mooch off of you
If you and your spouse share a car, but there’s a second one in the driveway, your kid will more than likely call the second vehicle their own. After all, you don’t use it, and maybe their sibling is too young or doesn’t have their license yet. If that’s the case, they’re probably in no rush to buy a vehicle. A lot of older adults claim that young people have no idea how to handle their finances, but that’s not true. They may spend a lot of time on Instagram or playing PS4, but those things merely mask their true intelligence. So don’t be fooled!
8. They’re convinced that their calling is to heal the environment
Photos of people wearing masks in polluted cities are just one of the images that haunt this generation. Keep in mind, that the majority of environmentally-conscious individuals out there are young people. After all, they’ve got many years ahead of them. In addition to ditching the use of too much plastic, today’s young adults don’t want products that have been proven to mess with the environment. That includes cars. That’s why there are legions of young adults who are buying hybrid cars (if they can afford them), or just taking public transit.
9. Their entire universe is accessible by bus or subway
Speaking of public transit, it’s worth mentioning that some people are only a few stops away from their errands. For young adults living in cities (which is a lot of people), there are subway trains running every few hours, not to mention, criss-crossing bus routes. If for just $100 – $150 a month they can get to work, the grocery store (although carrying groceries can be a pain), the dentist, the doctor, or dance recitals, why bother with a car. Besides, they can sit back and let someone else do the driving.
10. Phones and tablets are the new convertibles
It may seem ridiculous, but gadgets have stolen the spotlight from so many other products, including cars. Don’t be fooled – getting a new car is exciting for anyone. But how often do you see people buzzing about the release of a new car these days? And when a new iPhone or game console comes out, aren’t you seeing long lineups and campsites outside of stores? True, a car is way more expensive, but they don’t have the religious devotion that electronics get. In other words, young people are valuing other things more and funny enough, they’re content with tapping away on a new iPad on the back seat of a bus.
Young and Car Free
It’s a strange and confusing world. For you, it’s seems that young people are going backwards. But understand it’s a strange time for them as well, now that they’re starting to see everything they were taught and exposed to, getting flipped upside down.
Whether it’s cultural values, economic situations or lifestyle changes, young drivers are slowly reverting to their pre-license years where they were passengers. And while seeing them by a car may put a smile on their face, they’ve got much bigger things to achieve.