Report: Social Media Contributing to Decline in Car Ownership

Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - 03:13 PM

ZipCar allows users to rent vehicles by the hour or day. The company's tag line is "Wheels When You Want Them."

A new report by U.S PIRG is linking a decline in car ownership among young people to smart-phone enabled sharing services, like car sharing and bike sharing.  Young people are getting licenses later and later, and buying cars less and less often. 

In its report, "A New Way To Go" U.S. PIRG says the market penetration of smart-phones, coupled with their rapid adoption by younger consumers, has contributed to a shift in the ways young people get around.

"I used to think of ride share and car share as just another form of driving, but now its another mode," the study's author, Phineas Baxandall, told TN in a phone interview.

"Social media means people can do things other than drive. If you don't have these systems, you rely on a car. Once you've bought the second car, you're going to use it. But users of car sharing have decided they can forgo another car, or they sold their car."

Full report, here.



Comments [4]

hairs from Pakistan

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Oct. 09 2013 10:45 AM

People who make the debunked argument that it's just the down economy clearly just aren't aware that this shift away from car dependence began long before the economy got bad. It began in the '90s and simply reached a critical mass recently that caught media and researchers' attention.

Oct. 03 2013 05:40 PM
TOM from Brooklyn

No, Andrea, it's just a manifestation that America's standard of living has slipped as a result of stagnated income not keeping up to the costs of everyday expenses for amenities that we always assumed were ours as-of-right.

Oct. 02 2013 09:38 AM
Carroll Lachnit from Santa Monica, CA

The decline in car-owning Millennials has been widely, but probably erroneously, attributed to the rise in social media. Actually, Millennials were slammed by the recession. And now that they're getting on their feet financially, they are buying cars. Well-to-do Millennials in particular,are buying luxury and sports cars, according to economist Lacey Plache:

"Increased new car buying by Millennials is not the only good news for the auto industry. What they are buying is also encouraging — specifically, luxury and sports cars. Even though the Millennials' overall share of sales is smaller, in every income group except the highest ($150,000 and over), aged 25 to 34 Millennials buy luxury cars to a similar extent or more as older buyers with same income. Plus, in nearly every income group, 18 to 24 year old Millennials purchase a greater share of entry and midrange sports cars than the older buyers."

Full article is at:

Oct. 01 2013 06:27 PM

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