There are many myths around millennials and their habits and how different they are when it comes to previous generations, however one thing is for sure – they are still interested in cars and driving – even if they are likely to pass their test slightly later in life.
While millennials still buy cars, they do go through a different buying process to older generations, relying very much on research and word-of-mouth to help form their decision and they are not afraid to consider brands which are less well-known.
For this post we asked our friends from Big Motoring World of their tips on how millennials can be properly guided in buying their first car. They host a ton of information on their site on how to buy a luxury brand car like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW.
According to them, the reasons millennials wait until later in life to learn to drive is down to many factors, including wanting to save the money to buy their first car before starting lessons – unlike previous generations who would have perhaps relied on their parents to buy it for them.
When they do go out to buy a car they use different practices and have different perceptions to the generations that came before, which is an important insight for car manufacturers and dealers to take into account.
For example, most millennials will be very image-focussed and aspirational when it comes to buying their very first car and will save to get the exact car they want. Whereas they make more practical choices as they age.
The younger drivers will go for cars which reflect their achievements in life and their personalities and this is matched by the availability of lower priced luxury cars like BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Millennials are able to buy these cars earlier in life than previous generations could.
This makes them a great catch for the companies as they can court them to become loyal customers to the brand long-term wherever possible. New models from lesser known brands also attract millennial shoppers who want to stand out from the crowd by driving something different.
Millennials are more likely to go for brands like Kia or Mazda and are drawn towards import brands because they associate them with their lives ahead of any other compared with older generations who might go for a Ford, for example.
Younger millennials tend to prefer German and Japanese brands to any others, having grown up with them and they will spend time researching their car before they decide on one.
While previous generations might turn up to a dealer to look around, with no particular car in mind, a millennial car shopper will have carried out research first and is particularly focussed on word of mouth recommendations.
So cars with good reviews online and on social media are more likely to make the shortlist for a millennial’s shopping list. They are far more likely to buy a car which a family member has recommended or a friend drives, than one they have just seen an advert for.
Millennials also value the experience they have when visiting a car dealership because they want to meet an expert who can answer all of the questions they have and tell them all about the car they are thinking of buying.
Millennials like to explore the car before making a decision and will take their time and thinking space before coming to a final decision. They won’t be pressured by sales people and while valuing the expertise at the dealership they won’t cave to sales pressures to buy, or special deals to incite a purchase.
While they are the new generation with less experience in the car world, the world of cars has changed so much since they were born that it doesn’t really matter and they can go about buying their first vehicle in their own way.
The experience their parents had, probably of buying a cheap second hand car from a pushy salesman will be incredibly different to that of a millennial buying their first car as it’s likely to be far more expensive and far more thought out.
The millennial generation is changing the way we buy and sell cars, taking their time to save up and choose the car which best reflects their personality, rather than just buying the cheapest banger which they can afford to insure.
This change in the way millennials buy their first cars can have a potential big impact on the way car dealers sell and market cars, particularly with the generations’ focus being on cheaper models of luxury brands and the more unusual brands.
The one size fits all approach and the hard sell based on price and extras thrown in just won’t wash for this new generation who will have done all their research and look at all the reviews online before they even get through the door.
With word of mouth playing a big role in their buying choices, car manufacturers which offer the chance for online customer reviews will certainly be one step ahead of the game when it comes to millennials buying their cars.