Study shows that Gen Z and Millennials are into driving and classic cars

According to a Hagerty survey, there is strong interest in driving and classic car ownership among America's Millennials and Generation Z.
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 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe and 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 - The Ford Mustang, along with the Chevrolet Camaro and several other American cars from the 1960s and early 70s is attractive to people of all ages. Photo - Hagerty

TRAVERSE CITY, /PRNewswire/ -- Despite Great Recession predictions that the American love affair with cars and driving was waning, millennials and Gen Zers now report they are more likely – not less - to want to own a classic or collectible car than their parents and grandparents, according to the 2020 "Why Driving Matters" survey of 10,000 U.S. drivers.

Key findings include:

  • Gen Z and millennials are most likely to report currently owning a classic or collectible vehicle. Classic car ownership by generation:
    • Gen Z: 22%
    • Millennial: 25%
    • Gen X: 19%
    • Boomers: 13%
    • Silent: 11%
  • Younger generations of vehicle owners who do not yet own a classic or collectible vehicle are more interested in owning one than older generations, indicating a strong future for the hobby:
    • Gen Z: 53%
    • Millennials: 57%
    • Gen X: 49%
    • Baby Boomers: 33%
    • Silent: 19%

That finding is consistent with Hagerty data indicating that, since 2018, millennials and Gen Zers have sought classic vehicle insurance quotes and vehicle values via Hagerty's Valuation Tools more often than older generations. Given current trends, Millennials, the nation's largest, will become the hobby's single largest group in the near future.

Hagerty commissioned TRUE Global Intelligence, the research practice of the communications firm FleishmanHillard, to survey 10,000+ Americans ages 18+, and data were weighted based on the United States Census Bureau's Continuing Population Survey's figures for gender, age, region, education and race/ethnicity. The "Why Driving Matters" survey also found ample evidence that the nation's longstanding love of cars and driving remains strong.

  • Nearly three of every four Americans (73%) enjoy driving, regardless of generation.
  • 38% describe themselves as active "driving enthusiasts," defined as belonging to a vehicle club, taking part in off-road or race track driving and attending cars shows and auctions.
  • Every generation ranked freedom as the top reason they enjoy driving.

An analysis of the collected data by TRUE Global Intelligence found: "Much of the 'death of driving' handwringing from the media in the wake of the Great Recession was based on data showing younger generations were getting their license later, buying their first vehicle later, and buying fewer vehicles compared to previous generations at the same age. This conflated buying power with demand. The recession hit younger generations harder and delayed a host of major purchases and life milestones. As millennials aged into greater buying power and started families, their purchase behavior looked more and more like other generations. The lag was due to the disproportionate blow the generation took in the recession and the unique burden of student debt. It took them longer to recover their buying power, but not as long as it has taken the myth of car-hating young people to die."

Hagerty Logo (PRNewsFoto/Historic Vehicle Association)

About Hagerty
Hagerty is an automotive lifestyle brand. Hagerty is home to Hagerty Drivers Club, Hagerty DriveShare,Hagerty Valuation Tools, Hagerty Drivers Club magazine, Hagerty Media, MotorsportReg, Hagerty Garage + Social and more. Hagerty is the world's largest provider of specialty insurance for enthusiast vehicles and supports keeping car culture alive through youth programs, the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA), the RPM Foundation and more. For more information, call (800) 922-4050 or visit www.hagerty.com.

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