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Why Today’s Teens Hate Cars? Are Trends Changing?

There are several reasons for the decreased interest in driving among teenagers. Some of them are related to the high costs involved in owning a car and driving, others have to do with the improved mass transit system, as well as with the increasing popularity of social media.

High Costs Involved in Driving

Unlike 20 or 30 years ago, owning a car nowadays is quite expensive. Purchase price of cars is very high, and you need at least $3,000 – $4,000 for a fairly good car, whereas a couple of decades ago, you could get a nice and safe used car for as little as $1,000. Even CNBC has stated “Teen driving could be an endangered Species”. Auto insurance is also expensive, and can cost as much as $1,000 a year, and even more, depending on your credit score and the type of car you want to insure. The price of gasoline is another contributing factor, as it costs between $3 and $4 a gallon.

teens giving up driving because of high costs

Teens giving up driving. Image credit: ldraxx

Public Transport System is Getting Better

A lot of cities across the country are investing heavily in the improvement of their public transport systems, modernizing them and making them more efficient. Mass transit systems in many metropolitan areas now include light-rail trains, buses, as well as streetcars, which are fairly fast and effective. Getting around town by bus or train is also much cheaper than driving a car. All this draws the younger population away from driving. Matthew Yglesias of Slate.com mentions “A bus is more efficient use of crowed space then a car”.

A bus is a much more efficient use of crowded space than a private car

A bus is a much more efficient use of crowded space than a private car. Image Credit: Patricia Z.


The Internet and Social Media Have Become More Important Than Cars

The Internet play a very important role in the life of the average teenager nowadays, and it has provided them with incredible connectivity. Social media allows teens to communicate and stay connected to their friends, exchange opinions, even gossip, without having to leave home and drive to a friend’s house. They can do all that from the comfort of their home, by text messaging, via Facebook, Skype or Twitter. Forbes states “Social media trumps driving among teens today“. Owning a smartphone and being able to talk to friends, share photos and videos whenever they want to, gives teenagers a sense of freedom, much more so than owning a car.

Less Young People Driving, Social Media Blamed

Less Young People Driving, Social Media Blamed. Image Credit: aminak924

Bad Job Market

As previously explained, owning a car has become somewhat of a luxury, and considering that the job market has not been great in the last couple of years, especially for the younger population, the decreased demand for cars among teens is not a surprise at all. As of June, 2013, the national teen unemployment rate is 24.1 percent according to the Wall Street Journal. This means that an increasing number of teenagers don’t have a steady income and can’t afford to buy a car.

Jordan Perch

Jordan Perch

Jordan Perch is an automotive fanatic and “safe driving” specialist. His expertise includes subjects like traffic regulations and green car technologies. He is a writer for DMV.com, which is a collaborative community designed to help ease the stress and annoyance of “dealing with the DMV”.

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