As recently reported by The Washington Post, younger Americans are shunning the driving habits of the previous generation and opting for more cost-conscious means of transportation. While we can speculate on what is causing this shift, the information provided by the article listed below sheds some light on some dynamics that are creating the need for alternative transportation methods:
Rising Ownership Costs
The rapid increase in fuel costs is likely one of the dominate reasons that young drivers are migrating away from vehicle ownership. But, when we also factor in the sharp increase in repair and maintenance costs, the current decline should come as no surprise.
A bad economy, coupled with mounds of collegiate debt, is creating a “perfect storm” of sorts for young drivers. Many have realized that $30,000 for a vehicle is simple too much to shell out in today’s economy, and are electing to take lesser-paying jobs that are closer to home.
Increase is Telecommuting
Another reason outlined in the article involved the emergence of telecommuting. Because Skype has opened up the door to a variety of new employment opportunities for young professionals, there is little reason to travel downtown for employment (provided that you’re in the right industry). And, while some of these positions may include a lessened pay rate due to the lack of traveling responsibility, this is a dynamic that many younger workers are willing to absorb.
What are your thoughts on the decrease in younger drivers? Is it a sign of things to come, or simply a knee-jerk reaction to the sharp uptick in automotive ownership costs?
Feel free to weigh-in below.