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New Study Says Millennials Are as Interested in Driving as Boomers

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Teenager Driving
According to the latest stats, U.S. millennials appear to be just as into cars and driving as older generations

Some studies indicate that fewer Americans are getting their driver’s licenses, particularly teenagers. But other studies show an increase in the number of driver’s licenses, which indicates that young adults in the U.S. might be just as interested in driving as previous generations.

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Driver’s license stats

teen with driver's license
We’ll have to wait and see whether or not the driver’s license peak continues in the new decade
Photo: Pixabay

According to new data from Benchmark Company, the second half of the Twenteens evidenced a spike in new driver’s licenses here in the U.S. Per The Drive, it’s “the single largest surge in new licensees” since 1974-1978 when mid-generation baby boomers became old enough to drive.

Accord to The Drive, this surge in licensed drivers helped contribute to the peak in new car sales. From 2015-2019, there were more than 17 million new vehicles sold for five consecutive years. Benchmark predicts that this trend will continue to boost car sales for the next decade since the 35 to 44-year-old demographic should grow until 2034.

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Considering other trends

person holding Car Keys
Other trends indicate that driver’s licenses and private car ownership aren’t going away anytime soon here in the U.S.

It will be interesting to see if the peak in new driver’s licenses continues as the next decade plays out. After all, more Americans are gravitating toward using rideshares instead of opting for a personal vehicle. According to research by Accenture, approximately two-thirds of Americans who use rideshares claim they would consider getting rid of their private autos sometime in the next 10 years.

Then there’s the other trend of more U.S. consumers going “car-light” instead of totally car-less, as New York City transportation consultant Bruce Schaller articulates. According to Schaller, the statistics for car-light households have been growing while those for car-free households have been declining in key urban cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and D.C.

So, it seems that private car ownership will continue to be a thing for at least another decade, if not longer. In which case, it’s likely that Americans will continue to want new cars and get their driver’s licenses during the next 10 years — and possibly many years beyond that.