Younger people are increasingly interested in buying cars according to a new study by LendingTree, with Millennials (those under 35 years of age) now representing an average of 33 percent of all requested auto loans through LendingTree’s marketplace.
LendingTree analyzed its auto loan requests within the past year and found there is a growing nationwide trend of young car buyers returning to the auto market. This is despite media reports and widely held beliefs that indicate Millennials represent a shrinking segment of the total car purchasing population. The share of Millennial auto loan requests has climbed from roughly 27 percent in early 2013 to about 34 percent in 2016.
“With unemployment among Millennials improving, coupled with lower interest rates and low gas prices, the share of Millennial auto loan requests is on the rise,” said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree. “Although the share of Millennial auto loan requests is relatively lower in densely populated urban areas, the auto market appears to be enticing aging Millennials.”
Millennial auto loans average $14,825.34 while the loan amount average amongst those older than 35 is $17,938.74. Approximately 53.6 percent of Millennial auto loan requests in the past 12 months were for new vehicles and 46.4 percent of requests were designated for the purchase of used vehicles. For borrowers 35 years and older, 55.8 percent of requested auto loans were for the purchase of new vehicles and 44.2 percent for used, suggesting Millennials are slightly less likely to finance the purchase a new vehicle compared to borrowers 35 years and older.
In the study, LendingTree additionally looked at vehicle purchase requests within the past year and found these makes and models were the 10 most popular cars among Millennials. Vehicle model years were not assessed.
10. Toyota Camry
9. Dodge Challenger
8. Chevrolet Malibu
7. Ford Mustang
6. Honda Civic
5. Chevrolet Tahoe
4. Chevrolet Impala
3. Honda Accord
2. Dodge Charger
1. Nissan Altima