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Younger buyers to drive car sales ‘boom’, says Auto Trader

young car buyer

Almost two-thirds (61%) of 17-24-year-olds plan to spend their lockdown savings on a new car, according to a new study by Auto Trader.

The online marketplace highlights ‘Gen Z’ as a crucial group in the recovery of post-lockdown car sales for dealers.

Erin Baker, editorial director at Auto Trader, said: “Despite the challenges felt around lockdowns, it is great to see that Gen Z are overcoming financial concerns to reap the benefits they will get from owning a car.”

The findings reveal that one of Gen Z’s biggest considerations when buying a car is that the brand of car plays its part in protecting against the climate crisis, with more than a quarter (27%) of Gen Zers citing this as a top consideration.

What’s more, a fifth (22%) of 18-24-year olds revealed they would consider buying an alternative fuel vehicle. This follows on from findings revealing that three quarters (77%) of Gen Zers admitted lockdown had made them more sustainably focused, in comparison to only half (54%) of Generation X (55-64-year olds).

The research discovered that the average Gen Zer has stockpiled £2,000 in savings as a result of lockdown restrictions.

Important car features for Gen Z include a good GPS system, with a quarter (23%) of 17-24-year olds confessing it’s a top consideration.

Appearance also proved key, with a quarter (25%) of Gen Zers confessing to wanting a car that’ll ‘reflect their personality’ and one in 10 (11%) of the social-media savvy generation admitted being after a car that’s ‘instagrammable’.

This research follows DVLA data revealing that young driver numbers have dropped to the lowest level ever recorded, with driving lessons and tests suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Auto Trader found that a third (32%) of 17-20-year-olds missed out on their driving test due to the pandemic and half (49%) of 17-24-year-olds admitted that the pandemic had impacted their car buying plans

Gen Zers are tired of lockdown restrictions, however, with more than a third (34%) feeling like they have missed out on the ‘first car excitement’ of being able to go wherever they liked and 31% confessed they were craving the independence of being able to freely visit friends and family.

With driving lessons now back and tests being given the green light from April 22, and increasing number of Gen Zers are expected to purchase cars.

Last year, Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) recorded a double digit jump for Millennial and Gen Z customers switching to vehicle finance during the pandemic.

VWFS said 25-34 year-olds saw a 12% jump, from 6% to 18%, while 18-24 year-olds recorded a 10% jump from 8% pre-pandemic, to 18%.

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