Unfortunately, we have not yet made it to the era of “The Jetsons.”
Forty-three percent of millennials believed we would be traveling in flying cars by now, according to new research by Cars.com.
But 87% of millennial respondents to the research believe car ownership is important. And those famously commitment-phobic millennials are twice as likely as boomers to buy a car entirely online.
Those are some of the findings of the Cars.com research, which also showed that 48% of millennials believed fully autonomous vehicles would be widely available by now. That compares to 35% of Generation X that believe that, and 36% of baby boomers.
Fifty-four percent of millennials expect fully autonomous vehicles in the next 10 years. Forty-six percent expect more alternative fuel sources, and 40% expect over-the-air software/control updates.
Cars.com assistant managing editor Matt Schmitz said millennials had expressed high expectations that a “futuristic automotive experience” would be available by 2020.
“But our research found that while the industry hasn’t advanced as quickly as they envisioned, millennials’ attitude toward automotive is extremely positive and they are the most excited among their generational counterparts to shop for their next vehicle,” Schmitz said in a news release.
The 87% of millennials that value car ownership comes slightly ahead of the 86% of Gen X respondents and slightly behind the 94% of boomers.
The findings were based on a Cars.com U.S. consumer study that took place in January. For the purpose of the study, millennials were considered those born between 1981 and 1996; Gen-X between 1965 and 1980; and boomers between 1946 and 1964.
Another trend: Millennials are taking out longer-term financing to keep monthly payments down as new car prices reach an all-time high.
Cars.com asked participants about financing $25,000 at a 4.5% interest rate. Twenty-six percent of millennial respondents selected $316 per month for 96 months or eight years. That compares to only 16% of boomers. Millennials show more concern about monthly payment amounts. Boomers express more concern about interest rates.
Also, Cars.com found it unsurprising that millennials would shop for and purchase a vehicle entirely online if they could. However, their counterparts have more of a preference for performing online car-shopping tasks such as researching makes and models, determining what they can afford and insuring their vehicle.
Sixty-two percent of millennials are likely to shop for and purchase a vehicle entirely online, compared to 36% for boomers. And that is even more likely for millennials if a trial period, a return policy, or free delivery service is included.