How the gears shift between generations of drivers

(Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

(BPT) – From younger drivers blasting music, to older drivers with their hands on “ten” and “two,” it’s no secret that with each new generation comes a shift in values, beliefs and opinions. Those generational differences shape everything from travel plans to spending habits.

With Gen Z being the latest generation to be of driving age, recent data from Hankook Tire reveals how different generations of drivers simply do things differently. Here is a look at four differences between younger drivers and those who have some miles behind them.

1. Younger generations steer toward saving a dollar or two.

High prices have younger drivers seeking opportunities to lower car care costs, even if that means doing some of the work themselves. Nearly half of Millennials and Gen Z said they would conduct vehicle maintenance themselves (48%) or switch service locations (45%) in order to save money.

In fact, Hankook found that Millennials are most likely to perform their own car maintenance to save money, whereas Boomers are least likely to do so. Older generations would rather take their cars into repair shops, regardless of cost.

2. Almost everyone will go the distance to save money on gas.

With the high cost of gas, 86% of people in the survey said they would be willing to drive up to 20 minutes to save at the pump. And though many surveys show that overall, younger generations drive less than older generations, they will drive further to save the extra buck. According to Hankook, about 1 in 5 Gen Z drivers (21%) and Millennial drivers (19%) are willing to drive more than 20 minutes to save on gas.

In addition to going the extra mile for gas, 11% of Gen Z responders and 18% of Millennials will turn to public transportation, walking, biking or ride share apps to save on driving costs.

3. EVs are the way of the future.

With gas prices top of mind, another difference between generations is how they feel about EVs and how likely they are to purchase one. While nearly half (46%) of Americans expect to purchase or lease an EV within the next five years, intent is even higher among Millennials (60%) and Gen X (44%) drivers. Only 30% of Boomers noted the same.

4. Younger generations are most likely to road trip.

While post-pandemic travel intent continues to trend upwards overall, there are still some generational differences in who is packing their bags — especially around the holidays. Hankook’s latest survey found 44% of Millennials plan to travel by car before the end of the year, compared to 29% of Boomers.

Part of the reason for less holiday travel could also be financially motivated — Deloitte’s research reveals older generations are shying away from travel in order to save money. In fact, 37% of those surveyed by Deloitte cited financial concerns as their top reason for not traveling this year.

In short, each generation packs different expectations when they get behind the wheel. Regardless of what those may be, it is clear that generational behaviors are going to have an outstanding impact on the road ahead.

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