Quartz

Driving? The Kids Are So Over It

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Annabeth Jones
High School Student

As a member of gen Z I can tell you, at least in my experience, this is not true. Literally all of the people my age I know have their learner's permit or drivers license. And I live in a relatively urban area too.

Maggie Chan Jones
Founder & CEO at Tenshey, Inc.

Digital transformation together with the shared economy has disrupted the auto industry and the rental car industry in a big way. The disruption will only get worse as Gen Z joins the Millennial generation to become the core part of the workforce and spenders.

Ian Myers
GM of Platform at Quartz

Ahh the perspective of the urban/suburban teenager. Powerful stuff, but still a large sample set that is not at all representative of the nation.

Growing up in rural America, there was no choice about getting a car. Until you got your license, the only option for getting anywhere was having your parents drive you. Getting a license was the only path for freedom.

To be fair to this article though, I’ve never actually purchased a car. I used my parents cars until I left for grad school, moving into a more urban area—where a car was not necessary—proving that urbanization is probably the most powerful factor here. That being said, most of my classmates from high school stayed in Vermont and all bought cars.

Jake Gronemeyer
Neuroscience Student at Loyola University

It's never been about driving, the activity, rather, the freedom and independence. The social ramifications of a shift in when teens can obtain this level of freedom, previously only accessible with a licence, will be the more interesting thing to observe.

Boris Markovich
CEO at StreetReader

Teenagers with drivers licenses is down big over the last few decades. And young adults in their 20s are also increasingly passing on driving.

Many reasons for this:
1/growth of app based car services and ride sharing
2/better options to remotely hang out with friends via video and social media
3/rising price of new cars
4/moving to cities reduces need for a car

Those who do buy cars are increasingly buying used.

Being a car manufacturer today is a tough business. Self driving cars can’t come fast enough.