News Culture

Proving Boomers Wrong Again, Millennials Are Getting Their Licenses in Record Numbers

Despite what many would have you believe, Millennials don't hate cars or driving.

Simply put, it’s all but impossible to count the number of articles condemning Millennials for purported disinterest in cars or driving. As anyone who has actually bothered to ask the question would know, however, those born between the years of 1981 and 1996 are no less interested in America’s favorite form of transport than their predecessors, and one study has concluded that Millennials’ interest in driving rivals that of the Baby Boomer generation.

A study conducted by Benchmark Company and published by Bloomberg found that in the second half of the Twenteens, 15.4 million new driving licenses were issued in the United States. This is reportedly the single largest surge in new licensees since the window spanning 1974 through 1978, when mid-generation Boomers reached driving age. Benchmark explained its findings by pointing to licensing rates’ tendency to peak when people hit their early 30s, an age which Millennials reached only in the middle of the last decade.

New car sales were buoyed by this surge in licensed drivers, with U.S. car sales exceeding 17 million new vehicles for five straight years between 2015 and 2019 according to Good Car Bad Car. The number of new licensed drivers is reportedly expected to climb by an additional 12.5 million people these next five years, reaching a predicted 245 million people by 2025. These new drivers are anticipated to account for up to three million new vehicle sales annually, contributing to demand expected to remain above 16.5 million vehicles for at least the next five to 10 years. This could assuage fears within the auto industry that “peak car” was reached in 2018, instead promising a slower, less jarring downsizing.

“The key demographic group of people aged 35-44 years continues to grow until 2034 and could provide growth for the industry for the next decade,” Benchmark reportedly concluded.

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