Millennials Are Breaking Car-Shopping Stereotypes

3 Myths About Millennials & Electric Cars Are Costing Apartment Complex Owners Money

Millennials Are Breaking Car-Shopping Stereotypes

Originally published on ChargePoint’s blog.

Unless you are a millennial, everything you think you know about the generation born between 1981 and 1996 is probably wrong. That’s especially true if you own or manage a multi-family apartment property. Being a Gen Xer myself, I admit I believed some of the stereotypes too.

In fact, a few weeks ago one of my coworkers offhandedly remarked that “millennials don’t buy electric vehicles (EVs) because they can’t afford them,” but rather than piling on, I did some digging instead. What I found out surprised me.

Many of the generalizations about millennials are so mistaken, businesses that buy into them are missing out on some big opportunities.

Myth #1: Millennials Don’t Drive Cars — BUSTED

Fact: While it’s true that, on average, millennials postponed buying cars longer than baby boomers and Gen Xers at similar stages of life, that was largely due to the fact that they came of age in the middle of a financial crisis saddled with a ton of student loan debt.

Now that they’re older and their financial circumstances have improved, they’re buying cars again — with a caveat. They want vehicles that are sustainable and have lower operating costs. In other words, they want EVs — and they’re actually willing to pay more to have them.

Myth #2: Most Millennials Still Live with Their Parents — BUSTED

Fact: Again, millennials do tend to live at home longer than previous generations, but it’s not “most” anywhere in the U.S. (ranging from under 10% in Seattle to 45% in El Paso, Texas).

The reasons are complex and have a lot more to do with geography and culture than the implied lack of motivation.

As with vehicle purchases, today millennials have recovered from the aftershock of last decade’s downturn, have paid down their student loan debt and are eager to leave the nest and make their own way.

Myth #3: Millennials Can’t Afford to Buy Homes — BUSTED

Fact: Millennials aren’t purchasing homes for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that they simply don’t want to. Nearly three-quarters of millennials rent, compared to low-60%s for the previous two generations.

A recent report from Apartment List found that fewer than 5% of millennials plan to buy a home within the next year and more than a third say they won’t make the move for 5 years or more.

The reasons? Renting is more affordable, and most millennials prefer to be flexible enough to move to a new up-and-coming neighborhood in their city or relocate for their dream job across the country if the opportunity arises.

“59% of residents would pay more to live in a green or sustainable community.” –AMLI Residential’s 2018 Sustainable Living Index

If you own or manage multi-family properties, succumbing to these myths can be costly. Millennials are highly educated, their incomes are on par with their Gen X forbears at a comparable age and they want to live in apartment communities that share their values.

 AMLI Residential’s most recent c found that 59% of those surveyed will pay more to live in a sustainable community.

With 91% of millennial respondents to a recent poll saying they plan to make the switch to an EV when the time is right, you’re leaving money on the table by not considering EV charging as a resident amenity.

In our new eBook, Is Your Property EV Ready?, we explain how EV charging can help you attract these desirable residents, why it’s more affordable than you think and how it increases property values.

We’ll also tell you the astonishing percentage of drivers who plan to make an EV their next vehicle and why now is the right time to get started. It’s better to make decisions when you have all the facts.

When you’re ready, click the link below. We’ll wait.

Get the eBook.

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A couple weeks ago, ChargePoint became a publicly traded EV charging network company, after merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). On March…

Hyundai and Kia are giving a nice boost to their EV buyers in the UK — access to a large number of charging stations…

Thanks to everyone who joined us for CleanTechnica’s webinar yesterday. We hosted a very interesting conversation between EV Connect’s* Chief Revenue Officer, John Karambelas,…

We recently surveyed owners and managers of apartment complexes and other multi-family residential properties to try to understand how they are approaching the topic…


[Survey] Millennial Car Payments

Millennials Are Breaking Car-Shopping Stereotypes

Millennials are often associated with less-than-stellar stigmas. However, this collective group of individuals — those born between 1981 and 1997 — is currently the largest living generation, and a major influence on the health of our economy.

Often characterized as “lazy,” “entitled,” and even “demanding,” millennials come the gate with much to prove.

One of the biggest stereotypes surrounding the generation is its members' emotional and financial dependence upon their parents.

While this might not be totally off-base (24 percentof millennials reported receiving help from their parents with a bill or two), many millennials work hard, earn their own money, and even want to invest it.

We polled more than 3,000 Americans between the ages of 18–34 and found the following:

  • 65% of millennials think paying off a car is a worthy investment.
  • More than half of these respondents make their own car payments, with only 8% saying their parents make them.
  • 26% of millennials are willing to spend just $100 on a monthly car payment, at most.

Despite the negative stigmas, our findings showed a large percentage of millennials valued owning a car, and even intended to make payments without the help of an older individual…they’re just a little confused as to what it might actually cost them.

Do millennials think paying off a car is a worthy investment?

The short answer is yes.

Millennials do think paying off a car is a worthy investment. More than half of those polled (65 percent) believed it was in their best interest to not only have a car, but also to invest in one. Though both womenandmen replied this way, women were 12 percent more ly to consider it a worthy investment than men.

In fact, millennials are taking out auto loans more often than did previous generations. This is due in large part to advances in technology, making the car-buying process quicker and more efficient.

Also, the ability to take out a six-year loan has afforded this younger generation more financial flexibility when purchasing a vehicle.

We’ve seen a significant uptick in the number of young people aspiring to car ownership, especially in sprawling, car-dependent cities.

Here is where we see the millennial stigmas shattered. While it’s widely believed that millennials don’t foot many of their own bills, we found this to be untrue in the case of cars. Only 8 percent of millennials said their parents made their car payments for them.

In fact, more millennials reported not having a car than said their parents made car payments on their behalf. More than half (52 percent) said they paid for their cars their own pocket.

Of those that did, most (59 percent) were in the older age bracket (25–34 years), compared to 43 percent in the 18–24 age bracket.

What are millennials willing to spend on a monthly car payment?

While we send kudos to all millennials who are — or intend to — make their own car payments, a quarter of them have a skewed perception of what that might actually cost. We surveyed those aged 18–34 to gauge the maximum monthly outlay they’d be willing to spend on car payments.

While the results varied, 26 percent said they’d be willing to spend no more than $100 per month. As most car owners can attest, it’s hard to find a driveable car at that price point. In fact, the average car payment in 2018 is more than $400 per month.

It’s safe to say millennials expectations are a bit off.

Although many millennials preferred to spend $100 or less per month, the third-highest answer was $500 or more a month.

This shows a large discrepancy between those who would pay little to nothing and those who would spend a good chunk of their income on a monthly car payment.

19 percent of those aged 25–34 said they’d pay over $500 a month, compared to just 13 percent in the 18–24 age bracket.

We calculated the estimated price it would cost to make each of those specific monthly payments for the duration of a six-year loan:

  • Less than $100 a month: $36,000

What kind of car can you actually drive for $100 a month or less?

While cars are on the market for less than $7,200, it’s important to note the safety repercussions that can come at this price point.

Many vehicles at this price level will have high mileage, dings and scratches, less reliable brakes and engines, and can even utilize recalled parts.

If you plan on financing a car for less than $100 per month, do ample research to ensure its safety and reliability. Follow some of thesetips for buying a used car:

  • Do your research— Spend a generous amount of time researching cars online and in-person before making your final decision. It’s best to shop around with various private sellers to get the best deals and cars in the best shape.
  • Know which questions to ask— Create a checklist and keep it handy when inspecting the car so you remember to ask the important questions. This checklist should include queries , “Are the dashboard warning signs funtional?” and “Do all the gauges work?”
  • Run a vehicle history report— This is an essential step in any car-buying process, old or new. Using the vehicle’s VIN number, you can pull up a report that displaying prior crashes, salvage title information and other vital material.  
  • Get the car inspected— In some cases, it’s helpful to take the car to a mechanic to inspect the reliability of the car as an unbiased party.
  • Take a test drive— Take the car out on a sufficient test drive. This will allow you to assess the car's feel at different speeds, its braking power, mirror and windshield visibility, and the function of check-engine lights.

It might surprise some that millennials think owning a car is a worthy investment. And while most seem to pay their own car bills, it’s interesting to note how little they’re willing to spend on monthly payments.

Aside from the car payment, there are other significant expenses the come with owning a car:insurance, upkeep, gas and much more.

The average car payment continues to rise year over year, so it will be interesting to see how this correlates with the importance and desire of owning a car in the years to come.


Edmunds | Mic | The Balance | Business Insider | CNBC | Money Talks News


8 Stereotypes About Millennials And Money: Are You Guilty?

Millennials Are Breaking Car-Shopping Stereotypes

Generational stereotypes are hard to shake. Millennials know this better than anyone these days.

We’re apathetic, entitled, overeducated and underemployed—destined to mooch off our parents forever.

Let’s find out which stereotypes are myths and which are based in reality.

1. Millennials expect to get high paying jobs right college—False

When I was in college, I never heard a single one of my classmates say they expected to get a high paying job immediately after graduation.

Most of us knew we were doomed to move back in with our parents and get jobs at low-paying non-profits, coffee shops, or continue on to grad school in a desperate attempt to get the degree that would actually qualify us for most of the high paying jobs currently on the market.

Over and over again, Millennials have been called the most entitled, narcissistic generation that expects to get everything handed to them on a silver platter—especially jobs.

This is simply not true. Most Millennials don’t believe their skills are better than then their older peers, and don’t believe they are more qualified or deserve higher paying jobs any more than other college educated adults.

On the other hand, the same data shows that nearly half of adults over 60 believe their skills, particularly their writing skills, far surpass those of Millennials.

2. Most Millennials still live with their parents—False

Coming from a Millennial who is just now in the process of moving his parent’s house, this may sound a little hypocritical, but no, not all Millennials live with their parents.

Yes, more of us live with our parents than previous generations (although, older generations live with their parents more frequently than ever before, as well), but that’s doesn’t mean all of us do. Studies show that 36 percent of Millennials live with their parents. But this also includes those who live in college dorms and return home for vacations.

Millennials don’t live with their parents because they’re lazy and think it’s fun to move back home (trust me, nearly all of us would prefer to be living elsewhere). College is the main factor that makes Millennials return home.

With the largest percent of people in college, it’s more financially practical to stay at home between the ages of 18-24 while still in school.

Also, nearly all Millennials who attend college have debt after graduating and it can be difficult to balance that debt and living expenses.

Young people moving back home is not a new phenomenon. In fact, the only generation that routinely left home at 18 was the post-WWII generation.

Marriage is also a key factor. Older generations got married younger and at higher rates, so they moved out and shared expenses with their spouse. Millennials are marrying less frequently and at older ages. It would be costlier to live alone, making it less feasible to do so.

Related: 4 Ways To Make Living With Your Parents Less Painful

3. Millennials are materialistic—False

Millennials shopping almost as much as they videos featuring cute animals.

Actually, the opposite is true (about the shopping, not the animal videos—those are awesome). The growing fad of minimalism is entirely due to Millennials and their desire and need to live with less.

Minimalism is often viewed as a privileged fad for the rich who realize they can’t find happiness in their million dollar cars and houses. I’m not saying those people don’t exist, but for Millennials, minimalism has been a refuge—a way to focus on experiences rather than things in a world where most Millennials just can’t afford to have a lot of material possessions.

Millennials’ student debt combined with an increase in unemployment, has led to Millennials being one of the poorest generations in years. They don’t buy cars as frequently as their parents’ generation and definitely don’t buy houses as often. Compared to other generations, Millennials have far fewer expensive possessions.

4. Millennials are broke—True, sort of

As I said, Millennials are one of the poorest generations, but not all Millennials are broke. They simply earn less than previous generations.

Millennials earn now what they would have earned had they lived during the 80s.

Since living costs were much lower in the 80s, this wouldn’t have been such an issue, but now that the cost of living has skyrocketed Millennials are left with low wages and no place to live.

I keep bringing up that Millennials are in much more debt than previous generations.

This isn’t because I’m a Millennial and to complain about all my problems, but because debt is a large reason behind nearly all Millennial money problems. This debt is, of course, thanks to college degrees.

Degrees were worth more in the job market years ago, but with the rise in the number of people getting degrees, there’s a larger competition to face.

5. Millennials are bad at saving money—True (but it’s not just us)

This is another “we know how, but don’t” scenario. Yes, it’s true that Millennials simply don’t save as much as Gen Xers or Baby Boomers, but this not just a Millennial trait.

“Young adults (not matter what generation) have never been good at saving, and they are no worse at it today than 15 or 20 years ago..”

And it’s not just young people. Americans as a whole have been saving less since the 1980s.

There’s a long list of reasons why, but we save less, in part, due to the severe mistrust of banks that have developed in recent years. No one goes to banks to ask questions, least of all Millennials. This leads to an ongoing lack of knowledge of how many financial products work, from retirement accounts to mortgages.

In addition, 59 percent of Millennials also say they find that most financial products aren’t marketed towards them, so they’re less ly to use them. Luckily, there’s been a rise in FinTech companies geared almost exclusively towards Millennials that advertise saving as a key feature. We’ll see if anything changes as a result.

6. Millennials are job hoppers—False

Younger people change jobs more frequently than older people, that’s just a fact, but there’s a claim that all Millennials stay at their jobs for a few months until they get bored and are on to the next one.

Again, this is just not true. Most Millennials ages 20-24 have been at their jobs for 16 months or more. Often, Millennials have a difficult time finding better opportunities and stay at their current jobs, fearing unemployment.

As for the Millennials who have changed jobs frequently in the last few years, they’re the ones who have found higher paying jobs with better benefits.

In certain instances, job hopping is actually a good thing.

7. Millennials have a hard time negotiating salary—True

This one is true. Only 38 percent of Millennials negotiate their first salary.

Often, Millennials are afraid negotiating will make them seem too pushy. Or they fear losing that one job that actually called them back for a follow up interview.

Also, college educated women are entering the workforce in much higher numbers due to the fact that more women go to college these days than men. Women are much less ly to negotiate salaries than their male counterparts, and even if they do negotiate they are more ly to get their negotiations rejected.

Related: How To Negotiate Anything (Even If You’re Shy And Afraid!)

8. Millennials don’t have good credit—True

Unfortunately, this is also true. TransUnion found that 43 percent of millennials typically have bad credit or no credit at all.

Chalk this up to the fact that we’re young and just don’t have a long credit history, but even older Millennials shy away from credit-building opportunities having credit cards for fear of being thrown into even more debt.

There are also Millennials that are trying to avoid debt all together and strictly use debit cards for all their purchases, making sure they can’t spend more than they make.

This is great in theory, but in practice, using debit cards all of the time and avoiding all situations with the potential for debt lead to having no credit whatsoever.

This can be equally as bad as having bad credit because it’s nearly impossible to rent an apartment, take out a mortgage, or get a car loan with no credit history.

Understanding how credit works and how to build credit responsibly is the best way to ensure you’ll be able to reach different financial goals down the road—and no, you do not have to go into debt to do it. Luckily, we’re here to help!


all generational stereotypes, there are some Millennial stereotypes that are true, but there are plenty that are false. With a rise in degrees but not necessarily in wages, Millennials are faced with debt and rising living expenses on little income.

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