According to a new survey done over in the United States, Gen Z car buyers will be practical, as well as paying close attention to safety and value.
Cox Automotive, owner of Kelley Blue Book and AutoTrader, did a study on Gen Z’s car buying habits. Gen Z kids are now aged from 0 – 17 years old, and a total of 3,000 kids were surveyed. Nearly half of the kids were between 12 and 17 years old.
Isabelle Helms, VP of research and market intelligence for Cox Automotive said, “One key difference between this generation and their predecessors, the millennials, is that they are far more budget-conscious than the millennials were.”
These Gen Z buyers prefer traditional, trust and practical brands, like Ford, Chevrolet and Honda. However, millennials went for Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
“The car is the gateway to experiences for them,” Helms added. “Experiences matter to them far more than materialistic things, which differentiates them from millennials.”
Despite being budget conscious, Gen Z buyers are very willing to purchase a car. 92% of the Gen Zs interviewed have plans to purchase a car, while 97% are interested in getting a driver’s license. In fact, 72% of them said that they’re willing for forego social media for a year if it meant they could own a car, while 33% are willing to make do without their phones.
“The benefits of ownership far outweigh the benefits of car-sharing,” Helms said. “Vehicle ownership is more tailored to their needs. It’s more convenient and flexible.”
Interestingly, more than 25% of the respondents said that owning an environmentally-friendly vehicle is important. 61 percent added that autonomous cars will make roads safer, while 45% feels that it will reduce distracted driving. 41% of the Gen Zs surveyed said that autonomous cars can prevent accidents.
Lastly, Helms added that carmakers and dealers have to adapt to Gen Z buyers, as they have adapted to millennials. The same sales technique won’t necessarily work on Gen Z buyers.
The Cox Automotive research found that whilst most Gen Z buyers will research online a lot, only 26% of them are willing to buy a car online. 68% of them said that interaction with the sales person is critical. Like the older generations before them, more than 50% of the Gen Z buyers are expected to test drive a potential vehicle more than twice before purchasing it.