Kids These Days: Driving Less

Kids These Days: Driving Less
NBC NEWS
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POSTED: Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 5:11pm

UPDATED: Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 5:24pm

Younger Americans are driving less, and that has car companies concerned.

You may have heard that new car sales were up again last month, but there's one age group that didn't contribute to the increase and, in fact, has been leaving the car parked for much of the last few years.

No age group has been driving less than 16 to 34-year-olds.

Young Americans are opting to stay out of the driver's seat.

One reason is their economic recovery is taking longer than other age groups.

"They've had a harder time getting jobs, they have more student-loan debt than their predecessors, their unemployment rate has been sky-high," explains Edmunds.com Chief Economist Lacey Plache.

Research from the Frontier Group found younger Americans in larger numbers are opting for public transportation, bicycling or walking.

Other research found that not only are young people driving less, but car makers say they're also spending less.
Car sales to the demographic are way off as well, and once again it's all in the economics.
"It is expensive," says college student David Churchill. "You've got gas, you've got insurance, you have to pay all that and got to factor that in when driving as well."

"Living at home longer, living with roommates longer and all these factors combined have created less of a need to actually own a car," Plache adds.

All of which has sent the auto industry scrambling to get the younger crowd back behind the wheel.

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