A new poll indicates millennials, those born between the early 1980s and turn of the 21st century, see the motor vehicle as an essential mode of transportation for at least another generation.
LendEDU, an online marketplace for student loans, commissioned a polling company to conduct a survey of 501 millennials, a group that's familiar with accumulated college debts. Aged 17 to 35, they are also of driving age, and the survey questioned only auto-owning millennials.
"In 2017, we now have self-driving cars, electric cars that run like a computer, and more hybrid vehicles; (and) ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. Not too long ago, the industry built gas guzzlers such as the Hummer," according to LendEDU.
The lending venture questioned where the automobile industry is headed next and chose to ask younger motorists, "the most powerful spenders in the U.S."
"In today's world, it seems a new piece of technology comes out everyday that renders a similar, but older service obsolete," the company pointed out. But, according to the poll, that doesn't appear to be happening with the automobile industry.
A vast majority (93 percent) believe owning a car is a necessity.
Fewer millennials thought a car would be necessary in 20 years, but the share was close to four in five people, or 79.2 percent.
Just 16.6 percent are re-thinking car ownership due to growth in ride-sharing services, but that's in the short span that Uber and Lyft have been in business and "is nothing to scoff at," the online researcher said.
About one-third of car-owning millennials see their vehicle as a status symbol.
Just more than half of millennial buyers prefer an ecologically "green" car to a traditional car.
Not quite half, 48.5 percent, of those polled used an auto loan to finance their vehicle.
A sizable minority, 42.5 percent, would give up handling the wheel in exchange for a self-driving car.
Meanwhile, the loan figures were "closely in line" with statistics from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which estimated that 43 percent of the U.S. adult population owes money on a car, the company says.
According to LendEDU, milliennials were more adept with a car than expected. More than two-thirds of participants know how to change the oil in their cars and 80 percent said they could change a tire.
Many millennials had a satisfying time buying a car. More than two-thirds said "owning a car is not a hassle."