Millennials Love Rentals, Rated by JD Power As Downright Congenial

And there we were, thinking they were damned alien spawn.

byBen Keeshin| PUBLISHED Nov 11, 2015 6:37 PM
Millennials Love Rentals, Rated by JD Power As Downright Congenial

Every major brand in America is in a tizzy. The ad folks believe, in their souls, that “Millennials” are an altogether different species. The query: How do you market to a herd whose movements you can’t predict? Boardrooms across Manhattan are in heated debate. Do Millennials mate for life, or just for now? Do they value their kin, or eat them? What is a Tinder? Does the modern young person hate driving? SERIOUSLY, GUYS, WHAT IS A TINDER?

Good news for anxious marketing execs everywhere. Despite hand-wringing to the contrary, those in the under-30 crowd follow many of the same consumption patterns of their parents. For example, according to JD Power and Associates, a bible for a cautious kind of consumer, folks born between 1977 and 1994 love rental cars. In fact, they’re more enthusiastic about rental cars than any other demographic polled. How much more pleasingly middle-aged do you want your youths? It’s as if post-collegiates flung their packets of Molly into the bushes and pledged instead to get their kicks solely from airport lounges, stolen hotel soaps and beloved Barcaloungers adjusted just right.

The word from JD is that Millennials make up 34 percent of all renters, second only to the Boomers, at 40 percent, and are highly engaged on the web. To rental companies’ delight, the average younger person will make 5.83 positive recommendations after a good rental experience, but only 1.46 following a negative one. This information seems less astounding in the context of longstanding Millennial support for Zipcar, a company which, pseudo-socialist branding aside, provides short term rentals (at a high cost-per-hour).

Rick Garlick, a tangy analyst for JD Power, noted in closing: "Conventional wisdom says that Millennials are perpetually dissatisfied, but that clearly is not the case.” While usurious surcharges for renters under 25 are a good reason to be unhappy, it seems that Millennials, despite the perpetual rendition of “Kids” being sung by Baby Boomers nationwide, are a reasonable bunch. We sip a kombucha and await AARP’s similarly complimentary findings.