The data comes from a new eBay Motors survey that polled owners of vehicles aged five years and older. What they found, among other things, is that Millennials are more emotionally attached to their aging cars than other generations.
So what do Millennials drive? According to the survey, the Toyota Corolla, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Toyota Camry rank in as the most popular Millennial rides. They also ranked highest among older vehicles with the most perceived reliability, as well.
This detail jibes well with the top reasons most owners hold on to their elder cars. Over 70 percent of all generations polled say they like not having a car payment, while 43 percent of Millennials say new cars are just too expensive. As has long been said, for most people a car is the second largest investment they make other than buying a house.
A further 17 percent of Millennials say their car just has too much character to replace, followed by sentimental value.
Interestingly, despite their vehicle’s older age, many of the owners polled (41 percent, all generations) say they’ve kept their total mileage beneath the 100,000 mile mark. Even more impressive still, 26 percent of vehicles aged 20 years or older fell into this sub-100,000 mile category, which translates to under 13 miles driven a day on average! That’s either dedication or at least a very short commute.
Over 70 percent of respondents said their cars were reliable, but many (58 percent) noted they weren’t perfect, citing a few dents and scrapes (one third polled), dashboard warning lights (13 percent), and cracks or chips in a window (11 percent). Thankfully, at least from an engine health standpoint, less than one percent said their car’s exhaust blows blue smoke. Just over 40 percent did admit however that their car has left them stranded, at least once.
What may surprise many people is that Millennials are said to be more apt to do their own repairs and maintenance on their vehicles than other generations—37 percent compared to 25 percent.
Popular DIY maintenance and modifications among Millennials include oil changes (an impressive 75 percent do it themselves), spark plug and battery changes (36 percent), brake replacement (43 percent), and to the chagrin of older generations… sound systems (18 percent). And with tax season at its peak, 16 percent of Millennials plan to spend their tax refund on auto-related parts, compared to 10 percent among other generations.
Perhaps Millennials do love their cars more than has been previously claimed after all. (Full disclosure: I’m a Millennial, and I’ll admit my Toyota Tacoma is nicknamed “Little Red”)